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The News in Brief

Friday, November 9
PM promises to raise salaries of military servants

Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze said at the press conference before the governmental meeting that the payment of 7 726 military servicemen will be raised in 2019-2020.

According to him, from 2019, the payment will be increased by 250 GEL for border guards as well. Also, it is planned to raise the salaries of other units as well, including the special security service, from January 1.

"Significant steps have been taken Since 2016 to improve the financial situation of the armed forces and to increase their social support. The salaries of 7 726 military servicemen will be raised in 2019-2020. I would like to remind you that the salaries of about 14,000 employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs were raised in summer 2018. This process will continue, "Bakhtadze said.

The Prime Minister also spoke about the provision of apartments for the contractual military servants and noted that the obligations undertaken in 2007 would be fulfilled by 2020. (IPN)

Georgian opposition candidate for president vows to call a snap election if he wins

The opposition candidate in Georgia’s run-off election for president pledges to eliminate the ‘political police’ if he wins.

Grigol Vashadze from the National Movement also promised to release everyone from prison who is serving time for use or possession of soft drugs and to call a snap parliamentary election.

“The first thing we should do is ensuring snap parliamentary elections according to the Constitution and Georgian legislation. Apart from a few exceptions, none of the people who are in the parliament and the government today deserve to be there,” Vashadze said on Sunday at a meeting with supporters in Kutaisi.

Many smaller political parties have thrown their support behind Vashadze, the presidential candidate for the United National Movement. Results published by Central Election Commission show that he received 37.74% of votes in the October 28 election, just 0.9% below Salome Zurabishvili, the candidate supported by Georgian Dream.

It is essential to change the system, he said and added that the opposition should be offered at least one ministerial seat.

In a bout of political generosity, he also proposed to grant the civil society and the opposition the post of Chief Prosecutor.

“Once and for all, we will eliminate political police in Georgia. This ugly relic – the KUD, SUS, whatever you call it, is still the ‘KGB’,” he said.

Although the UNM carried out draconian measures against drug-related crime during its tenure, Vashadze promised to grant amnesty to everyone serving time for crimes related to using, possession and purchase of soft drugs. He pledged to bring in the amnesty on ‘the first day after we win’. (DF watch)