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The News in Brief

Friday, June 12
Portugal’s national football team trains in Georgia

Portugal’s national football team is in Georgia this week preparing for its European Championship qualifying match against Armenia.

On Saturday June 13 the Portuguese side will challenge Georgia’s neighbour Armenia in the country’s capital Yerevan.

The Portuguese team, including its captain and world famous star Cristiano Ronaldo, arrived in Tbilisi on June 7 and began training at the Mikheil Meskhi stadium on June 8.

Head of the Georgian Football Federation Zviad Sitchinava said a Portuguese technical team arrived in Georgia several months earlier and got acquainted with the local hotels and the training field.

"They were satisfied with what they saw, that is why they chose Georgia. On June 13 the Portuguese team will fly to Armenia,” Sitchinava noted. (

Irakli Gharibashvili arrives in Baku together with his sons

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili has arrived in Baku together with his sons to attend the opening ceremony of the first European games - Baku 2015.

According to the PM’s press service, during the visit the Prime Minister will hold a personal meeting with the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. He will also attend a reception hosted by Ilham Aliyev and will visit the Georgian athletes’ village, where Ilham Aliyev's wife, Mehriban Aliyeva, will hold a welcoming ceremony.

The Georgian delegation, led by the Prime Minister, will attend the Baku 2015 opening ceremony on June 12.

6,253 athletes from 50 countries will take part in the Olympics, including 105 Georgian sportsmen. (IPN)

Advocacy Group Pushes for Bill on Parliament Quotas for Women

A group of civil society organizations has submitted a bill to the Parliament envisaging setting mandatory quotas for women to help increase the number of female members in the legislative body.

The bill aims at increasing share of female legislators in the next parliament to at least 25%.

Currently there are 17 female lawmakers, accounting for 11.3% of 150-seat Parliament.

The bill was drafted by the Task Force on Women’s Political Participation, a coalition of local and international organizations that advocate for gender equality and women’s political participation.

The proposal offers introduction of “zipper” system, where male and female candidates appear alternately on party lists.

77 seats in the Parliament are allocated based on proportional, party-list system and remaining 73 seats are distributed to majoritarian MPs from single-mandate constituencies.

The proposal also offers to apply the same “zipper” system to party lists in local elections. According to the Task Force on Women’s Political Participation share of female councilors across the country is 11.6%.

In his annual state of the nation address to the Parliament in March, President Giorgi Margvelashvili reiterated his support towards introduction of mandatory quotas for women in the legislative body.

Speaking at a conference in Tbilisi on women’s political participation in March, parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili said that although in general he’s against of any kind mandatory quotas, he’s “a supporter of equality and if I see that it is impossible to achieve equality without setting quotas, then I become a supporter of quotas.”

Usupashvili, however, also suggested that gaining enough support in the Parliament for the initiative to be passed would not be easy and added that even within his Republican Party, which is part of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, there was no unanimous position over introduction of the quota system.

The Georgian legislation currently envisages financial incentive for parties to include more women in their list of candidates. Task Force on Women’s Political Participation, however, said that this incentive has failed to address the under-representation of women in the Parliament. (

Construction of “Bridge of Friendship" between Armenia and Georgia will begin in the coming months - Armenian Transport Minister

According to Armenian media, the statement about construction of the “Bridge of Friendship" between Armenia and Georgia beginning in the coming months was made by the Minister of Transport Gagik Beglarian.

"The bridge will be built through joint efforts and with equal investments from both sides, for which we thank the Georgian side,”- said the Minister.

An agreement on construction of the “Bridge of Friendship” was signed on December 24, 2014.

The bridge will be built over the Debed River, at the Georgia-Armenia border.

A 10-million-euro loan agreement was signed between Armenia and the European Reconstruction and Development Bank with regard to the construction of the bridge in 2013.

However, the Armenian side reports that the project was suspended because of boundary delimitation issues by the Georgian side's request. (IPN)