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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 17
Georgian justice minister calls for fair election campaign

Georgia’s minister of justice calls on everyone to allow political parties to conduct their election campaign in a normal environment, after eggs were thrown at National Movement activists last weekend.

People threw eggs at former Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava and other National Movement members and supporters last weekend at several places in Georgia, Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani noted in a statement Tuesday.

Ugulava was pelted with eggs on Friday as he left the Constitutional Court, where supporters and opponents were waiting for him to attend a hearing.

Inside, the Constitutional Court was considering whether it was right to suspend Ugulava as mayor in connection with a corruption trial against him. Outside, his supporters and people opposed to him argued loudly. Protesters threw eggs at a car belonging to UNM members. Police had to escort Ugulava to his car.

Two people were charged with hooliganism, an administrative violation, and fined 100 lari (USD 60).

Tsulukiani chairs the inter-agency commission, which is created in order to ensure a competitive and free election environment and look into violations.

She said in the statement that it is important that every candidate in the upcoming election is able to compete in a peaceful environment.

“I say to the so-called egg-throwers that it will be better for our country’s welfare if we build a Georgia where Sunday, Election Day, is a celebration, but it also must be just another banal day for citizens in a good mood, when a person goes after dinner or supper to vote and votes for the desired candidate.”

She said all the people and groups who come and throw eggs must understand that there is a state with a democratic future between opposition and ruling party, between people with different opinions.

“So when we throw an egg at someone, it hits our better future in the face,” she said, continuing that it isn’t worth it.

The local elections will be held on June 15. (Democracy & Freedom Watch)

Georgian Dream to name mayoral candidates of self-governing cities on 26 April

The Georgian Dream coalition will name mayoral candidates of self-governing cities on 26 April. “We are sure of our victory. All headquarters have been activated,” the coalition spokesperson Giorgi Gegechkori said on Wednesday. (InterPressNews)

Second World War veterans to get one-time assistance

Participants of the Second World War will get one-time 400-GEL assistance, while the families which lost bread-winners in the Second World War will get 200 GEL.

By the government’s decision, the social assistance will be given to the mentioned people within the framework of the events dedicated to the 69-th anniversary of the victory over fascism.

The allowances will be given to participants of the Second World War living in Tbilisi by the Tbilisi City Hall, while the other veterans will get the assistance from the Social Services Agency of the Ministry of Labor, Healthcare and Social Affairs.

The anniversary of the victory over fascism is celebrated on May 9. (InterPressNews)

Police arrests six people for money extortion

The Criminal Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs have arrested six people on charges of money extortion. The special operations were simultaneously conducted in Tbilisi and Batumi. The officers seized arms, with which the suspects threatened a citizen of Georgia, Giorgi V. and seized 3,300 GEL. The police also seized the extorted banknotes as evidence.

The investigation is in progress under the charges of illicit purchase and possession of weapons and money extortion. (Rustavi 2)

77 year-old man from Sakorintlo village still missing

The whereabouts of 77 year-old Giorgi Ananiashvili, who is from the Gori region’s village of Sakorintlo, is still unknown. Ananiashvili has been missing since Friday. Family members say he left home five days ago and is still missing. They suspect that the man was arrested by police for crossing the border of the occupied South Ossetia region. They think the man may be held in the Tsikhnvali jail. (Rustavi 2)

Georgia, Turkey to cooperate in archive field

The director general of the National Archives under the Georgian Justice Ministry Teona Iashvili and the head of the State Archives under Turkish Prime Minister Ugyur Unal signed a memorandum of cooperation between the governments of the two countries in the field of archives in Tbilisi on April 15.

The ceremony was held in the exhibition hall of the archive where an exhibition on Georgian-Turkish relations is taking place. The exposition includes the documents of old Ottoman language stored in the National Archives, as well as photos and written materials about the relations between Turkey and the Caucasus, Turkey and independent Georgia.

Turkish ambassador to Georgia Zeki Levent attended the event.

The memorandum envisages the exchange of copies of archival documents, the introduction of digital technology, as well as exchange of experience in the field of restoration. The parties agreed to conduct joint activities and work on scientific publications. (Trend)

Georgia to chair World Wine Trade Group

Georgia will chair the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) for the next 12 months and lead international wine industry experts in discussions relating to global wine trade issues.

The WWTG is an informal grouping of government and industry representatives from wine-producing countries including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Georgia, New Zealand, the United States and South Africa.

Georgia acquired the position after US at the annual WWTG meeting in Brussels on April 10 and 11. Georgia will hold this role for one year, from April 2014.

The WWTG aimed at sharing information and collaborate on a variety of international issues and endeavors to create new opportunities for trading wine.

Within the session it was also decided the next plenary session would be held in Tbilisi from August 25 to 27 this year.

Session participants discussed wine related issues including technical barriers in trade and pesticide limits. The meeting also served as an opportunity for bilateral discussions and trade agreements to be made between countries.

The Georgian delegation was led by Levan Davitashvili, who heads the National Wine Agency – a governmental body responsible for wine development in the country.

In the framework of the visit, US Ambassador to the European Union Anthony Gardner hosted a special welcoming ceremony for the session participants where he recounted the taste of Georgian wine, which he sampled years ago when he was studying in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Gardner became interested in the potential of exporting Georgian wine. (Agenda.Ge)