The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, March 31
PM proposes to define "family” in Constitution

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has proposed to define the ‘family’ as the "union of man and woman” in the Georgian Constitution.

Gharibashvili insisted this change was necessary to avoid speculation and "wrong interpretation” of the marriage concept, while the EU strongly advised Georgia to adopt anti-discrimination laws. The anti-discrimination draft law was approved by the Georgian Government at today's session and it will be presented to the Parliament for further discussions in the nearest future.

"I would like to stress that the law does not create any new right for anyone. It does not grant any type of privileges to any group of society, neither takes away. The law only ensures that all could equally enjoy the rights which are ensured by Georgian legislation and the Constitution," Gharibashvili stated.

The Georgian Constitution does not say anything about family but defines marriage and states that "marriage is based upon spouses' equality of right and free will". Also, the Article 1106 of the Georgian Civil Code says that "Marriage is a voluntary union of a man and woman with the aim to start a family".

Cold weather causes problems in Georgia

Cold weather in Georgia has caused problems on the roads and at the airport in Tbilisi.

The traffic was stopped in the area leading to the Russian border of the Kobi - Gudauri road because of bad weather. Traffic was also stopped on the Gombori pass in Kakheti region because of the strong wind and snowfall.

Trailers and buses with over 30 seat capacity are banned to move on other passes.

A plane from Istanbul could not land in the Tbilisi International Airport because of the strong wind.

Pegasus and Turkish Airlines flights were delayed.

A landslide destroyed several houses in Adjara, but the inhabitants managed to escape.

The forecasters reported that six degrees below zero will be observed in Georgia tonight. The weather conditions will be stabilized from April 2.

EU criticizes Georgia for failing to protect human rights

The EU criticizes Georgia for not having done enough in 2013 to protect freedom of speech and prevent violent outbreaks of islamophobia and homophobia.

The new report published by the European Commission is part of the implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy.

Part of the report is dedicated to a street clash outside the National Library on February 8, 2013 where ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili was planning to give a state of the nation address, but the event had to be moved to another location because of the violence between his supporters and opponents.

“Authorities failed to prevent the disruption of a speech given by the head of state,” the EU report says.

Then it moves on to the tumultuous May 17 events where “the police failed to prevent around 30 000 violent counter-demonstrators from attacking about 50 peaceful LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) activists.”

A few tens of LGBT activists wanted to mark the international day against homophobia and announced it a few weeks beforehand. This led to a mobilization of thousands of people, led by Orthodox clerics, who physically prevented the event from taking place.

As anti-gay emotions boiled over in the following weeks, there were also backstreet attacks on people presumed to belong to a sexual minority.

The EU report criticizes Georgia for not bringing those responsible for the violence to justice.

The report also refers to protests and rights of religious minorities.
(Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Municipal official complains about pressure

United National Movement accused the government of Georgia of pressure prior to the upcoming self-government elections in Georgia. Mamuka Akhvlediani was interrogated at the Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance for ten hours.

“The government tries to paralyze the work of the Tbilisi government,” Akhvlediani said after leaving the office of the Investigation Service. He said the questions of the investigation referred to the contract signed between the Tbilisi mayor`s office and the City-Park Company, which is in charge of arranging parking problems in Tbilisi.
(Rustavi 2)

Two opposing rallies at prosecutor’s office grew into clashes

Two opposing rallies were held outside the office of the chief prosecutor, which had summoned former president Mikheil Saakashvili for interrogation on ten different criminal cases. One group of protestors was objecting to the decision of the prosecutor, while the other was demanding his interrogation.

The rallies grew into clashes after one of the protestors from the group against the ex-president tried to grasp and tear the poster from the opponent. As some protestors were brawling, others were throwing eggs and other objects. The police arrested two protestors on charges of hooliganism.
(Rustavi 2)

National Opera and Ballet Theatre votes for new art director

David Kintsurashvili became a new Art Director of Tbilisi’s Zakaria Paliashvili Opera and Ballet State Theatre winning the second round of voting with 218 votes.

Kintsurashvili competed for the art director position against Mzia Nioradze.

To gain a result, the successful candidate must receive the required number of votes (50% +1 vote) however neither candidate achieved this in the first round.

In total 369 people voted for a new art director. These people were part of the Opera Theatre's creative group and artistic administration.

Both rounds of the election was observed by Georgian non-governmental organizations "Association of Lawyers" and "The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy".

Now, Kintsurashvili’s candidacy will be submitted to the Ministry of the Culture and Monument Protection for approval.

Currently, Kintsurashvili is a Georgian Symphony Orchestra Conductor.