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The News in Brief

Wednesday, May 12
32% of respondents support Mikheil Saakashvili serving a third term

According to an NDI survey, 32% of Georgians support the idea of Mikheil Saakashvili serving a third term, 40% are against. 20% don’t know whether they want Saakashvili to serve a third term, and it was hard for 8% to answer the question.

In answer to the question "Which party leader or politician would you support in the next Presidential election?" the results were as follows: a National Movement candidate36%; Don’t know 22%; hard to answer 10%; Irakli Alasania and Giorgi Targamadze 8% each; Shalva Natelashvili 3%; Gubaz Sanikidze and Levan Gachechiladze 1% each; Aleksandre Ebralidze and Zviad Dzidziguri 0%.

The survey was conducted by the Caucasus Research Resource Centre on 11-26 April by order of NDI. 2,337 people throughout Georgia were questioned. The poll was about the attitude of the public towards elections. (Interpressnews)

Peter Semneby to hold meetings with opposition and Government representatives

The EU Special Representative for South Caucasus Peter Semneby is in Georgia to hold meetings with opposition, Government and NGOs representatives. He arrived in Tbilisi on May 10. The local elections and the situation in so-called South Ossetia and Abkhazia will be discussed during these meetings.

“I intend to meet representatives of the authorities, political parties and the election administration and discuss the situation before the elections”, Semneby said. He added that the EU is interested in holding fair, impartial and democratic elections in Georgia. “We are doing our best to provide fair elections in Georgia. As part of the OSCE observer mission a very respectable delegation will arrive to monitor these elections. The democratic conduct of these elections is very significant for the conduct of the next Parliamentary and Presidential elections. Each political party should address this issue correctly,” Semneby said

During the visit Semneby will also get acquainted with the work of the EU monitoring mission. (Prime News)

Georgia and US sign Memorandum of Understanding

Minister of Education and Science Dimitri Shashkin and Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Jonathan M. Conly have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the development and deployment of the Student Information System (SIS).

The goal of SIS is to help the Ministry of Education and Science plan financial and human resources and develop more equitable annual and mid-term projections. SIS supports the effective functioning and exchanging of information between the Ministry, its agencies and resource centres.

SIS will be piloted in 20 schools and 4 resource centres in order to generate accurate data on student registration, scheduling, attendance, grading and report generation. The first SIS report will be produced by the end of 2010. The system will be rolled out countrywide by the end of 2011.

USAID’s three-year Education Management Project aims to help the Government of Georgia improve education policies and school financing. (Prime News)

Noghaideli: Problem of Georgia’s reintegration will be solved after Saakashvili

The Russian-Georgian problem will be solved when Saakashvili is no longer President of Georgia, leader of the Movement for Fair Georgia and ex-PM Zurab Noghaideli said at Tbilisi Airport after returning from Russia.

Noghaideli said that when Mikheil Saakashvili is no longer President of Georgia the Georgian Army will take part in the May 9 military parade in Moscow and Georgia’s reintegration problem will be solved.

Noghaideli visited Moscow to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the victory over fascism but did not attend the military parade in Red Square. He stated that despite being invited to the ceremony, as a member of the opposition he should not have attended the parade. (Prime News)

Vakhtang Makhniashvili released on bail

Vakhtang Makhniashvili, father of the missing Georgian girl Mariam Makhniashvili, has been released on bail by a Canadian court.

CTV stated that the Canadian police had detained Vakhtang Makhniashvili on charges of attacking his neighbour and wounding him on May 8. The neighbor has been taken to hospital.

17 year-old Mariam Makhniashvili went missing in September of 2009 in Toronto, Canada. Her whereabouts are still unknown. (Prime News)