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Compiled by Ana Robakidze
Friday, August 24
Jgali Incident

The newspaper Akhali Taoba reports that locals in the village of Jgali who had gathered at a stadium to meet Georgian Dream Movement candidate Gia Nachkebia, were attacked with a machine that sprayed a chemical solution which is normally reserved for the treatment against autumn’s webworm – hyphantria cunea. Five people were poisoned due to this incident.

Gia Nachkebia assumes the incident to be a provocative act from the government. “We were chased by the vehicle equipped with a machine spreading the chemical from the very beginning. As soon as we arrived in the village, the driver parked nearby the place that the meeting was due to be held,” he said. The chemical was sprayed on the locals as soon as the candidate started to deliver his speech and everything around was covered in thick, white smog.

Jgali residents say that the head of the village municipality was seen to be in the same car, from which the chemical solution was sprayed.

Nachkebia also reported that a particular group had been created with an aim to sabotage his planned meeting with locals. He also named Marina Kakachia, the chair of the Financial-Budgetary Committee of the Tsalenjikha municipality to be the leader of the group.

The main problem the candidate has to face in villages is the lack of information and fear among the people. Nachkebia is very confident about winning the elections, as “the dream of Tsalenjikha residents is to defeat the Saakashvili regime,” he says.

The Ministry of Agriculture has issued an official statement regarding the incident in Tsalenjikha, where David Koberidze, the head of the LEPL National Food Agency, reports that “the treatment against webworm was launched at the beginning of August and the population had been informed in advance. Also, the chemical used for the treatment is absolutely harmless for humans and will not cause any health issues. “These steps are taken in order to guarantee a better harvest and hence, better income for the villagers. Therefore, everyone should refrain from all the political speculation,” Koberidze says.

Speculations over prisoners’ pardon

Pirweli, an online media source, reports that accusations that the graciousness of the Pardon Commission is due in large part to the ongoing election campaign are baseless.

According to Member of Parliament Marika Verulashvili, “speculation that the character of the commission can be changed and members will express more kindness just because they are meeting during the ongoing election campaign is absolutely baseless. We will sustain our basic principles,” says Verulashvili. She also reiterated her strict attitude to those who have committed grave crimes.

203 applications will be examined by the Mercy Commission today and the list of the pardoned prisoners will be forwarded to the president. Prisoners will leave the Department of Corrections on August 28th.