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The News in Brief

Tuesday, March 17
Parties start drafting new election laws

The parties who have signed the Code of Behaviour began drafting new election legislation yesterday.

The parties signed the code on February 26 and thereby pledged to participate honestly in the drafting of the new legislation. All consultations on the election code will be constructive and will continue until a consensus is reached. The media will not be allowed to attend the sessions.

The Georgian Government intends to hold the 2010 local elections under the new code in a more democratic environment. The National Movement, National Democratic Party, Industry Will Save Georgia, Democratic Party of Georgia, Georgian Troupe, Christian Democrats and We Ourselves have signed the Code of Behaviour and will participate in drafting the new code.

President visits Kakheti

The Georgian President visited the village of Sartichala in Kakheti Region yesterday and heard a report given by the Minister of Agriculture, Bakur Kvezereli, about the spring agricultural works.

The President said Georgia ought to stand firm despite the global economic crisis. “Amid the economic problems more agricultural lands being used and more agricultural works being undertaken mean that products will be cheaper, and at the same time people who live in the countryside will have fewer unemployment problems,” Saakashvili said, adding that the Government would help farmers obtain fertilizers, fuel and seeds.
(Rustavi 2)

Cataloguing of historic monuments begun

The Council of Europe has launched a new project in Georgia which aims at the protection of historic monuments damaged during the Georgia-Russia war of August 2008. Representatives of the Council of Europe, the Culture Minister and the Minister of Reintegration arrived in the villages of Tkviavi and Nikozi, in the Shida Kartli Region, yesterday.

After the cataloguing of the monuments, conclusions will be published and the managers of the project will begin attracting sponsors to rehabilitate the damaged monuments.
(Rustavi 2)

PM arrives in Mtskheta

Georgian Prime Minister Nika Gilauri visited the city of Mtskheta and met the local population yesterday. The meeting was held in the Second Public School.

The locals were mostly worried about unemployment in the region. Nika Gilauri said the Government has serious plans in this direction and special tenders will be announced for the business sector, whose winners will be obliged to create new jobs and employ people. The Government plans to allocate 8 million GELfor this purpose.

Attracting foreign investments was also a subject of interest at yesterday’s meeting.
(Rustavi 2)

NGO member joins Conservative Party

Lasha Chkhartishvili of The Equality Institute has joined the Conservative Party of Georgia.

Chkhartishvili held a briefing with party leaders yesterday and said his views and values coincided with the basic principles of the Conservative Party and that he would henceforth fight against the injustice in the country with the Conservatives.

“From today on I will fight against the injustice and terror which reign in this country together with Conservative Party members,” Lasha Chkhartishvili said.
(Rustavi 2)

Labour Party objects to visit of US official to Georgia

The Labour Party is objecting to the visit of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs of the US, Matthew Bryza to Georgia. The party’s Nestan Kirtadze briefed in this regard yesterday.

Kirtadze said Bryza comes to Tbilisi without official status and interferes in internal politics illegally. The Labour Party asserts that the Government is acting according to Bryza’s instructions and accuses him of participating in electoral fraud.
(Rustavi 2)

Teenager commits suicide

15 year-old Natia Shermadini jumped into the river Mtkvari from the Zahesi Bridge late on Sunday night. Eyewitnesses say she tried to swim out of the water, but failed and drowned.

Rescuers searched for the teenager on Sunday night but could not find her. The rescue attempt was resumed yesterday morning.
(Rustavi 2)