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The News in Brief

Monday, January 14
Mze TV: Gali district residents forced to take Abkhaz passports

The television station Mze reported on January 12 that the de facto Abkhaz authorities are forcing ethnic Georgians in Gali district to take Abkhaz passports.

“The [Georgian] population is forced to fill in special forms and if someone refuses, they are threatened with expulsion,” the TV station reported.

The Tbilisi-backed government-in-exile has called on the international community to address the issue. “They are giving out forms to the district’s population. The forms say that residents reject Georgian citizenship and want to receive so-called ‘Abkhaz citizenship.’ This is absurd, the district residents object to this and will not sign the documents,” stated Paata Shamugia, the Gali district representative of the government-in-exile. (Black Sea Press)

South Ossetian administration ready to finance Tskhinvali water supply project

The Tbilisi-backed provisional administration of South Ossetia is ready to finance the Tskhinvali water supply project, according to Dmitri Sanakoyev, who heads the provisional administration.

Sanakoyev said that the provisional authority is ready to allocate a portion of its budget to provide assistance to the population of the South Ossetian regional capital of Tskhinvali, which is experiencing water supply problems.

“This is a serious proposal and a response to those in the de facto South Ossetian authority who accuse the provisional administration of trying to create a water supply crisis,” he said.

“The de facto government want to mislead the international community and the local population on the issue of water supply resumption. At the same time, the answer to this issue should be searched for in Tskhinvali, and not within our sector, because we do not have the mechanisms to shut off the water supply to South Ossetia—all the valves and the regulation equipment is situated on de facto-controlled territory,” he concluded. (Black Sea Press)

Patarkatsishvili’s campaign team meets French ambassador

On January 12 representatives of business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili’s election campaign team met French Ambassador to Georgia Erik Fournier.

Nona Gaprindashvili, Shalva Khachapuridze and Rati Shartava discussed the recent election with the ambassador, and presented him with a list of what they claim to be election violations.

“At the meeting we stated that the election was falsified,” Gaprindashvili said afterwards. (Black Sea Press)

Bakradze: our main task is to guarantee stability, peace and development

The main task facing Georgian authorities in the wake of the presidential election is to guarantee stability, peace and development in Georgia, Davit Bakradze, the State Minister for Conflict Resolution and Mikheil Saakashvili’s campaign spokesman, told journalists on January 11, while commenting on a meeting between Saakashvili and opposition candidate Levan Gachechiladze.

“We held a competitive election in line with European standards in Georgia. Mikheil Saakashvili won a convincing victory in that election, but our task is not only to hold the election, our main task is to guarantee stability, peace and development in the country, after the election. It is with this aim in mind that Mikheil Saakashvili has expressed readiness to extend a hand to the opposition and together, without dwelling on the past, we must focus our efforts on the future,” Bakradze said.

He also said that a dialogue on cooperation between the opposition and the authorities would continue for the benefit of the country and discussed Saakashvili’s recent announcement that opposition figures may be offered cabinet posts in the new government. “I should not reduce this process to a trade between parties and the proposal of posts. This process is more important. This is a process by which all interested forces, parties, people who are genuinely interested in a better, peaceful future for Georgia, are given an opportunity to take part in the making of this,” Bakradze said. (Black Sea Press)