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Compiled by Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, January 20
Will Gia Chanturia become Premier?

Certain changes in the Government are planned for after the local elections, Akhali Taoba reports. According to some Prime Minister Nika Gilauri will leave his post and Gia Chanturia might replace him.

The Christian-Democratic Movement has not officially nominated Chanturia as its Mayoral candidate but almost everyone is sure that they will. The party is planning to officially nominate Chanturia on February 8, after final consultations with him. The potential Mayoral candidate has lived in Azerbaijan for the last few years and only returned to Tbilisi about a month ago.

According to unofficial information Saakashvili is planning to offer the prime ministership to the opposition party which achieves the best results. It is also possible that the leadership will offer some other senior posts in the Government to the opposition. Saakashvili has previously proposed appointing opposition members as Deputy Ministers but offers were not ultimately made. Some opposition parties currently participate in extended National Security Council sessions.

Sanaia asked to explain himself

Sakartvelos Respublika has published a statement released by the Georgian Academy on December 29 which claims that the authorities are conducting an “information war” against this organisation.

“Our suppositions seem to be being justified. We highlight one specific case: in his special report “Georgians against Georgia” on January 16, Vakho Sanaia talked about supporters of Russia’s expansionist regime, the so-called “Fifth Column”. Professor Alexander (Nukri) Kantaria, a member of the Georgian Academy, was among those named as opponents of the Georgian national interest and his photo was broadcast for a whole week in the advertisement for this programme," the statement reads.

"We categorically demand from Vakho Sanaia that he explain why he included Kantaria in his list of “Fifth Column” members and prove this allegation. If this does not happen we will bring an action against him in court. As a conclusion we quote a passage from our statement made on December 26: “The Government seems to be preparing to reveal a new “conspiracy” and is trying its best to get rid of all opponents,” the statement concludes.

Occupiers run rampant in Gali

The Russian occupiers are conducting acts of official oppression in the Gali region, Sakartvelos Respublika reports. According to information released by Rustavi TV, a micro bus has been hijacked in the village of Saberio while Roin Dzegvava, the driver, and twenty passengers were in it. A search is being conducted by Dzegvava’s family. The occupiers confiscated his personal car.

The operation began in the lowlands of Gali villages at 5 a.m. on January 19. Soldiers burst into Georgian homes carrying firearms, cudgels and light weapons. They first laid siege to the village of Bargebi, took the Dzandzavas brothers away and tortured them in public. 14 Georgians were imprisoned.

The occupiers also punished people whose names appeared on the list of those who had crossed the so-called border to enter Zugdidi during the week. The occupiers made all the Georgians sign a promise that they would never return to their homes if they crossed the border.