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The News in Brief

Wednesday, December 13
Electoral College Set to Replace Direct Vote for Georgia’s President

(TBILISI) – The Georgian government on Monday reiterated that it plans to follow-through with a decision to amend the constitution and have country’s president elected by a 300-member electoral college instead of through a direct popular vote, according to Parliamentary Chair Irakli Kobakhidze.

The Georgian Parliament approved amendments to the constitution on its third and final reading on September 26, changing, among others, the mode of presidential elections and making the post indirectly elected.

Executive power in Georgia is splint between the president and the country’s prime minister, with the former serving as the head-of-state and the latter heading the government.

Under the current constitution, the president is allowed to serve two five-year terms. Current President Giorgi Margvelashvili, who took office in November 2013, has been openly critical of the amendments.

An independent, in terms of his political affiliations, Margvelashvili attempted to veto the ruling Georgian Dream’s (GD) push to abolish direct elections, saying it was an attempt by the GD to consolidate power and quash opposition to their increasingly tight grip on power. (

Tbilisi to Purchase More Eco-Friendly Buses

(TBILISI) – The municipal government of the Georgian capital Tbilisi will launch a new four-year program to purchase up to 200 eco-friendly buses, said Tbilisi Transport Company director Mamuka Bakhtadze.

The busses are expected to be part of a public transport overhaul touted by Tbilisi’s newly-elected mayor Kakha Kaladze. New routes, expanded services and an upgraded fleet of bosses are planned as part of a roll-out set to begin in early 2018. (IPN)

President Appoints Two New Ambassadors

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has appointed two new ambassadors on December 12.

Victor Dolidze, a career diplomat, who has served as the State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration since 2016, will be the country’s ambassador to Geneva-based UN agencies and other international organizations. He will replace Shalva Tsiskarashvili, whose term in office is to expire on January 1, 2018.

Elguja Khokrishvili, who presently serves as a senior adviser at the Georgian Embassy to Germany, was promoted to ambassadorial position in the same country. Khokrishvili will replace Lado Chanturia, who has been elected as the Georgia-nominated judge to the European Court of Human Rights.

The candidacies of Victor Dolidze and Elguja Khokrishvili were presented to the President for confirmation by Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

President Margvelashvili met the newly appointed ambassadors today and wished them success in their activities. (