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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Friday, August 23
Giorkhelidze thinks Margvelashvili is a non-alternative candidate

Analyst Demur Giorkhelidze thinks that Georgian Dream presidential candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili does not represent a political alternative. Giorkhelidze told Akhali Taoba newspaper that unlike Europe or America, political ratings and situation changes too swiftly in Georgia.

"The current presidential election is unique in that there are no major party leaders involved and the public will have to make a choice among ordinary candidates." Giorkhelidze said, adding that the upcoming presidential election is not easy to forecast.

"Some information might emerge during the election campaign that will totally change the situation. It is typical for Georgia." Giorkhelidze stressed.

The analyst emphasized that Georgian Dream Giorgi Margvelashvili still has a good chance of winning, as Georgian Dream leader Bidzina Ivanishvili has high approval ratings throughout the country.

"However, there are other compelling presidential candidates; the election campaign will be very interesting." Giorkhelidze said.

Government extends contract with Patton Boggs

Online media source reports that Prime Minister Ivanishvili’s government has extended a contract till the end of this year with influential Washington lobbying and law firm Patton Boggs. states that according to the original six-month contract, Patton Boggs provided assistance to the Georgian government "with respect to supporting NATO aspirations; communicating with the U.S. government and Congress; supporting relations with the media and opinion makers; facilitating arrangement of relevant events and meetings and educating the U.S. about developments in Georgia."

The addendum to the original contract keeps those services in place, but also adds a new provision: Patton Boggs will hire a full-time media consultant to help "increase general support to Georgia within the political and civil leadership in the U.S; increase media coverage with a focus on foreign policy and political media outlets; produce and place media material for publication; support Georgian Embassy initiatives and engage new audiences and media outlets that have not yet been engaged in Georgia-related discussions."