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Complied by Liana Bezhanishvili
Monday, December 7
Will support for the disabled decrease or increase in 2010?

Versia reports that the Government has decreased the 2010 budget provision for disabled persons.

Christian Democrat MP Magda Anikashvili has stated: "We are discussing the Government’s decision, which followed an order from the Health Minister. Parliament will certainly respond to this, as all financing is being done through the voucher system, not directly.

"The Ministry tells us that we should choose beneficiaries objectively but it is impossible to be objective. It has already been decided that the terms of the poverty programme will be changed. By decreasing finance for these people we are excluding them from society”.

The Chairman of the Healthcare and Social Issues Committee, Otar Toidze, has responded by saying: "The financing of disabled people will not be decreased but increased. We are now giving vouchers to invalids and telling them they can go to any centre they want. I agree that some residents will be discontent, but the State would finance 7,000 people from 2010.”

The UN will not guarantee fair elections

Rezonansi writes that political analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili has said that conducting Georgian elections under the aegis of the UN will not protect those elections from falsification as at one time the West helped hold falsified elections.

The idea of holding the elections under the aegis of the UN was first voiced by the Labour Party and the entire opposition spectrum supports it as they think that international organisations will guarantee the fairness of the elections. Tsiskarishvili commented however: "Previous experience has been that the Western States and international organisations are the forces which have helped falsify previous elections. Although I think this is a timely suggestion for the Western powers, it is unrealistic to think that the UN conducting the Georgian elections will do any good."

Who would win the primary?

Versia has asked several opposition leaders who they think will win primary elections to decide the common opposition candidate for Mayor of Tbilisi, if they are held.

Chairman of the Conservatives Zviad Dzidziguri: "I can convince you that a primary will be held and the Conservative candidate has the best chance of winning. There are people who will support me.”

People's Party leader Koba Davitashvili: "I would obediently accept any decision of the people, but my chances of winning are high.”

Labour’s Soso Shatberashvili: "Under this Government total falsification of the results will be done so it is not necessary to hold a primary”.

The Movement for Fair Georgia's Petre Mamaradze: "Our representatives are working on issues concerning the primary issues and therefore at this stage I really cannot say something concrete”.

National Democratic Party Chairman Bachuki Kardava: "It is very important if, where and how the primary is held."

The leader of the Movement for United Georgia Eka Beselia: "Our party will ignore the local elections. It has been said that Irakli Okruashvili is financing them, but this is not true”.