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The News in Brief

Wednesday, January 25
30 citizens of Georgia not allowed to enter Israel

30 citizens of Georgia were refused to enter Israel. According to Shota Kartsivadze, a relative of one of the citizens, the motive of the decision was not explained to the Georgian citizens.

"They have not committed any crime. There are all types of people in jail. I do not have any other information. Last night, we called the Ambassador of Georgia to Israel and briefed him on the situation. He said that sometimes there are such cases, but no arrests have been reported. I asked the ambassador for help; I provided him with my contact information. However, nobody has contacted me so far. We ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get involved in this case," Shota Kartsivadze said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that according to the information received from the Israeli Border Service, the citizens, who were denied entry to Israel, were taken to a deportation center and they will be sent back to Georgia on January 26. (ipn)

One More GDDG Parliamentary Faction Established

One more parliamentary faction has been established within the Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia (GDDG) parliamentary majority, increasing the total number of GDDG factions to six, according to the parliamentary bureau’s decision on January 23.

The newly-established Georgian Dream – Greens faction unites one GDDG lawmaker from the Greens Party Giorgi Gachechiladze, plus five members from the Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party, Zaza Gabunia, Irakli Abuseridze, Dimitri Mkheidze, Giorgi Begadze and Samvel Manukyan. The new faction will be chaired by MP Giorgi Gachechiladze.

Lawmakers in the new faction had to quit the Georgian Dream’s 92-member faction before joining the Georgian Dream – Greens faction.

The GDDG parliamentary majority, which consists of 116 lawmakers, united five factions until now; the Georgian Dream and Georgian Dream – Industrialists factions were established on November 18 at the new parliament’s inaugural session. Georgian Dream – Conservatives, Georgian Dream – Social-Democrats and Georgian Dream for Regional Development were established later, on December 26.

The UNM parliamentary minority united 27 lawmakers in two factions before the party’s split. On January 13, the group of 20 lawmakers who parted ways with UNM, renamed the party’s two factions to European Georgia and European Georgia for Better Future. The group also retained the status of the parliamentary minority.

Six UNM lawmakers who opted for staying in the party registered a new parliamentary faction under the name of the National Movement on January 23. The Alliance of Patriots, the third party to enter the parliament at the 2016 elections, forms one faction as well. Both factions work outside of parliamentary majority and minority groups.

A parliamentary faction is a group of at least six MPs, which gives certain privileges to its members, involving a seat and right to vote in the parliament’s bureau (the body which determines the parliamentary sessions’ agenda), guaranteed seats in committees, investigative and other ad hoc commissions and parliamentary delegations, as well as allocation of more time during debates and discussions in the Parliament. (

Republican Party appoints woman to key position

The Republican Party in the former Soviet republic of Georgia on Saturday appointed a femalr former lawmaker as new political secretary.

The appointment of 39-year-old lawyer Tamar Kordzaia is seen as a move to promote gender equality in politics.

She will be replacing Davit Berdzenishvili, a veteran member of the party and a former Soviet dissident, who joined the Republicans in 2015 after abandoning the Georgian Dream faction in parliament. In 2015-2016, he served as a chairperson for the cross-faction group in parliament.

The political secretary is the second most senior position in the party, after the chair, following a change in party regulations in the wake of the disastrous election result in the October, 2016, when the party failed to surpass the five percent threshold and was left without representatives in the national assembly.

The Republicans, a party formed by Soviet dissenters in the 1970s, are known for their firm support for maintaining gender equality in Georgian politics. The party nominated nine women candidates for the parliament under the single-seat majoritarian system for the October 8 election.

Levan Berdzenishvili, a veteran Republican, called the nine women ‘muses’ and said more women in politics means more solidity. Berdzenishvili is a specialist in Ancient Greek philology and the elder brother of Davit Berdzenishvili. Both served about three years in Soviet prisons in the early 1980s for dissident activities.

Currently, 23 of 150 members, or 23 percent, of the Georgian parliament are women. (df watch)