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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Monday, May 5

“National Movement member wants to shut down a newspaper”

Akhali Taoba writes that the director of a public school in the Kakheti town of Gurjaani named Marina Utiashvili, who is a member of the ruling National Movement, wants to have a local newspaper accused of libel shut down:

Her indignation was caused by an article published in the paper sometime ago. The article spoke of the illegal firing of teachers from the local public school at the demand of ruling party representatives.

“I serve my state, my president; I bring up future generations for the country. I suggest imposing serious censorship on the newspaper Imedi—the opposition does not have the right to tell lies and slander us. But I also think that a paper which always publishes misinformation should be closed entirely. We will avoid many problems by doing this,” Utiashvili said.

Members of the United National Movement’s Kakheti branch did not comment.

Note: Kakheti-based newspaper Imedi is a weekly paper published since 2003.

“Gogi Topadze advises the government to find a common language with Russia”

The leader of the Industrialists, Gogi Topadze, tells Rezonansi that the government should reach an agreement with Russia, calling into question Georgia’s vigorous bid for NATO membership:

“Russia’s strategic interest in the Black Sea can be used as a way to reach an agreement. It is obvious and everyone sees there is an ultimatum from Russia on NATO membership, and the conflict zones too. It is possible to achieve a consensus on this issue if the choice is made not by the administration, but by the Georgian people,” Topadze said.

He said the US should not interfere in Georgian-Russian relations.

“I call on the Georgian authorities not to become a tool in the struggle of the two grand states—Russia and the US,” Topadze stressed.

He thinks Georgia should maintain its independence, and that any other stance will lead to fatal results.

“Tbilisi sakrebulo started charity drive for orphanages”

Akhali Taoba reports that the Tbilisi sakrebulo, or city council, with support from pharmacy chain PSP is organizing a charity drive for orphanages and homes for mentally disabled children:

Deputy head of the sakrebulo Zaal Samadashvili and director general of the company PSP Gocha Gogilashvili visited children at the Beghurebi orphanage to deliver various presents including sports shoes, hygienic supplies, candy, etc.

“These children need our attention and love now, as they are our future and I’m sure they will become real patriots,” Samadashvili said.

Currently about 53 homeless children live there.

“Scientific research center on Georgian-Abkhaz relations established at TSU”

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that a center to study Georgian-Abkhaz relations was founded at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University:

The center’s purpose is to stimulate scientific research…[on] Georgian-Abkhaz relationships.

According to the head of the center, Zurab Shengelaia, at the start they will cooperate with three university departments: humanitarian sciences, social-political sciences and the law faculty.

“Various seminars, lectures and discussions will be held about Georgian-Abkhaz relations. We want to deepen knowledge about this matter for future generations,” Shengelaia said.

The center’s first lecture will be held on May 6, and everyone who wishes to participate is welcome.

“Unknown people are threatening Republican Party activists”

Tina Khidasheli, the oppositional Republican Party’s candidate for the Saburtalo majoritarian seat, told Rezonansi that members of the party’s youth wing are being threatened:

“During my meetings with voters several people were observing me. On May 2, one of the unknown people sat in the same minibus where members of our youth wing were sitting, threatened them and told them not to go to Sopeli Dighomi [a village near Tbilisi] any more,” Khidasheli said.

She warned that the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs should investigate; otherwise, adequate measures will be taken. She even named the registration numbers of the cars that were observing her.

“Incidents of blackmail and threats against our party are happening in the regions as well, and I am also receiving suspicious phone calls,” the majoritarian MP candidate said.