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The News in Brief

Tuesday, August 16
GDDG Names Majoritarian MP Candidates in Adjara

Gthe eorgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) ruling party nominated its majoritarian MP candidates for Adjara region’s six single-mandate constituencies on August 13.

GDDG's lawmaker in the outgoing Parliament, Pati Khalvashi, will run for re-election in one of Batumi’s three single-mandate constituencies (district No.68). She is a sister of businessman Kibar Khalvashi, who is now trying to regain ownership of Tbilisi-based Rustavi 2 TV through a lawsuit which is now in the Supreme Court.

She is so far the only female majoritarian MP candidate nominated by the ruling party.

The GDDG has so far named its majoritarian MP candidates in 51 out of 73 single-mandate constituencies; the ruling party will nominate candidates for Tbilisi’s 22 districts on August 15.

The GDDG nominated head of the Batumi maternity clinic, Levan (Nukri) Bezhanidze, as its majoritarian MP candidate in Batumi’s No. 69 district, and the head of sports and youth department of Adjara Autonomous Republic, Mukhran Vakhtangadze, as the candidate in Batumi’s No.70 district.

The UNM opposition party named its majoritarian MP candidates in Batumi’s three single-mandate constituencies Giorgi Kirtadze, a member of the Batumi city council; Temur Dumbadze, a member of the Khelvachauri local council, and Mirdat Katamadze.

Republican Party’s chairperson, Khatuna Samnidze, is running in Batumi’s No.69 district.

GDDG named head of Adjara’s public health center, Koba Nakaidze, as its majoritarian MP candidate in Kobuleti. Republican Party’s Tristan Jincharadze runs for majoritarian MP in Kobuleti.

Ilia Nakashidze, an anaesthesiologist in one of Batumi’s clinics who was chairman of Batumi city council in early 2000s, will run as GDDG’s majoritarian MP candidate in Khelvachauri.

Anzor Bolkvadze, who is a lawmaker from Adjara’s Khulo district since 2008, will run for re-election as GDDG’s candidate in a constituency which after redistricting unites Khulo, Shuakhevi and Keda mountainous districts of Adjara. He was elected in the Parliament as UNM member, but he quit the party after it lost elections in 2012 elections.

On August 9 GDDG nominated its majoritarian MP candidate in a single-mandate constituency uniting Mestia in the Svaneti region, as well as Ambrolauri, Oni, Tsageri and Lentekhi municipalities in the Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti region. Gocha Enukidze, who is a majoritarian MP from Ambrolauri since 2008, will now run as GDDG’s candidate; he was re-elected in 2012 as UNM member, but quit the party after it lost elections in 2012. UNM opposition party named Otar Siradze, a former governor of Racha-Lechkhumi, as its majoritarian MP candidate in the constituency uniting Mestia, Ambrolauri, Oni, Tsageri and Lentekhi.

Georgia has a mixed electoral system in which 73 lawmakers in 150-seat Parliament are elected in 73 single-member constituencies, known in Georgia as “majoritarian” mandates.

A majoritarian MP candidate has to win over 50% of votes in order to be an outright winner otherwise a second round should be held.

The remaining 77 seats in the Parliament are allocated proportionally under the party-list contest among political parties, which clear 5% threshold in nationwide popular vote.

Murdered U.S. tourist was spotted arguing with suspect

Witnesses in the village where a U.S. citizen was stabbed to death Thursday night reported seeing the tourist in an argument with the suspected murderer two hours before his body was found.

The motive for the murder is still unknown, but Imedi TV interviewed Gia Abramishvili, a local in the village Pshavela, who said that the tourist had an argument with the 20-year-old suspect on the road near the village Sviana, at a place often used for picnics.

“The young man used a knife to slit his throat,” he said.

The murder took place 37km from Telavi, the administrative center of Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region. The body had multiple stab wounds.

The murdered tourist was allegedly heading to Tusheti, a picturesque and remote region in the Caucasus mountains.

Locals also told Imedi that the murder victim was travelling with a companion. It is unknown where this companion is now, Petviashvili told Imedi’s reporter Kakha Kupatadze.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs published a video of the arrest of a 20-year-old man who is accused of the murder. He has admitted guilt and now faces up to 15 years in prison. Police also seized a knife that is believed to be the murder weapon.

Azerbaijani customs officers find large amount of heroin in the truck travelling to Georgia

Azerbaijani customs officers have found a large amount of drugs in a truck travelling to Georgia, - Azerbaijani State Customs Office reports.

According to the agency, customs officers checked the truck at the Azerbaijan-Iran border checkpoint and discovered a large amount of heroin.

According to preliminary information, a citizen of Tajikistan was driving the truck.

Investigation has been launched into the case.