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Compiled by Londa Mindiashvili
Friday, June 5
Will Shashkin satisfy demands?

Sakartvelos Respublika writes that the NGO the Confidence Group has made three demands at a meeting with all the opposition parties and Dimitri Shashkin, the Penitentiary and Probation Minister. The NGO members have demanded the release of 28 political prisoners, that the opposition be allowed two hours of live Public Broadcaster airtime daily and that all reports of violations occurring during the protest rallies be investigated.

Dimitri Shashkin stated after the meeting that these demands will be examined in detail next week. “If the people on their list are not a threat to society, we will consider different options,” said Shashkin. However he stated that the Government does not recognize that there are political prisoners in the country. The people concerned have committed specific crimes.

Davit Gamkrelidze on Army repression

Kvela Siakhle reports that Davit Gamkrelidze, the Leader of the New Rights Party, has stated with reference to the Georgian Army: “A lot of money has been granted for army reform. Our partner countries have also given us considerable aid. That is why we have decided to address the international community about this issue. Many professional armed forces personnel have been expelled. Some have been sacked from the Army, some arrested, some threatened with liquidation.

“Unfortunately, everything is done to discredit the Army. People who have sacrificed their health and nerves for their country in the Russian-Georgian war are being accused of mutiny and serving the interests of Russia. This causes the demoralisation of the Army.

“Bacho Akhalaia runs the Army nowadays. He is the de facto Defence Minister. No one asks for instructions from Davit Sikharulidze. When the so-called military revolt occurred Mikheil Saakashvili appeared at Mukhrovani with the Minister of Internal Affairs and General Procurator, not the titular Defence Minister.

“This also indicates what the situation is in the Georgian Army. The police are talking to every solder’s family and checking the family members’ opinions, asking whether they are pro-opposition. We say to our solders that we advocate for heir interests and will not allow Merabishvili and Akhalaia to insult them. We will remove the Government very soon and restore self-respect to every soldier.”

Davit Bakradze will not comment on two-chamber Parliament

Akhali Taoba reports that Davit Bakradze, the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, does not want to comment on the possibility of establishing a two-chamber Parliament at this stage.

Bakradze says that the purpose of creating a Constitutional Commission is to consider all possible models. “The politicians will not prejudge. The Commission will be a group of skilled people and they will be allowed to do their work and consider every possible model,” he added.

Avtandil Demetrashvili, the Chair of the Commission, has suggested a two-chamber Parliament. This is allowed for in the present Constitution but only after the country is reunited.