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Presence of intelligence agents at Tbilisi State University to be investigated

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, March 15
The Rector of Tbilisi State University (TSU), Vladimer Papava, says that the inquiry into the presence of intelligence agents in the university will be launched on March 14. The issue of intelligence agents in the university was raised by the students, who demand immediate investigation of the issue and hold protest rallies.

“Naturally, the university will launch an inquiry because the issue is so serious, but I do not know what the results will be,” Papava noted.

The students also call upon the only Chancellor candidate, Giorgi Gaprindashvili, to withdraw his candidacy. According to them, Gaprindashvili’s name is connected to several violent incidents within TSU and he has connections with law enforcement bodies. Gaprindashvili’s candidacy was presented by the Academic Council of TSU and he had to be elected by the senate on March 10. However, the elections failed due to the protest rallies of the students.

The third demand of TSU students concerns the student government, the so called Tvitmmartveloba. The students claim that this institution needs reorganization, as it is misspending the resources of the university.

Education Minister Tamar Sanikidze met with the protesters on March 12. The students asked her to address Parliament and take appropriate measures to remove the ODRs from educational institutions.

Sanikidze condemned the alleged presence of intelligence agents at TSU and said it is important to launch an investigation.

“This is very important and alarming, because ODRs have no place in an education facility,” she said, adding that the Education Ministry doesn’t have ODRs as it is not on the list of ‘high risk’ bodies.

She asked the evidence to be gathered at the university and sent to the Prosecutor General’s Office for examination.

It should be noted that there is another group of students at TSU who support Gaprindashvili’s candidacy. They expressed concern about the recent developments and say that the “paralyzed process in the university should be normalized”.

Meanwhile, the anti-Gaprindashvili factioncalled upon the Prime Minister and the Education Minister to take responsibility over the recent developments.

“We call on the Prime Minister and the Education Minister to take responsibility, because certain groups are trying to move the situation into a political context, the students stated.

On March 14, Giorgi Gaprindashvili made a special statement in which he said he is going to remove his candidacy.

“I want to apologize to the people who supported me, but I am stepping down. I made this decision in favour of the university's interests. I will always be beside the university and with the people who are next to me,” stated Gaprindashvili.