The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Monday, January 21
Saakashvili meets intelligentsia, promises new governors

Mikheil Saakashvili, then the president-elect, met representatives of the Georgian intelligentsia at Tbilisi City Hall on January 18. He revealed that he plans to replace many of his regional governors.

“We need new energy and new ideas,” he commented.

The previous day, Saakashvili visited the grave of King David the Builder at Gelati Monastery and met with priests. He was sworn in at Gelati when first taking office in 2004. (Prime News)

Saakashvili: Abkhaz churches to be administered by Georgia

On January 19, Mikheil Saakashvili, then the president-elect, said that Orthodox churches in Abkhazia will soon be returned to the administration of the Georgian Orthodox Church.

Saakashvili also expressed hope that the conflict will soon be resolved peacefully.

“There are many churches in Abkhazia, ancient and uniquely Georgian sacred places, that are currently administered by representatives of the Russian Patriarchate and I hope that in the near future they are returned to the administration of the Georgian Church,” Saakashvili said during a visit to the Shio Mghvime monastery. (Black Sea Press)

British ambassador holds talks with Gachechiladze on presidential election

Violations recorded during the presidential election were discussed at a meeting between British Ambassador to Georgia Denis Keefe and opposition coalition leader Levan Gachechiladze.

Gachechiladze said Keefe initiated the meeting.

“We were asked to work on a document detailing violations during the election so they cannot be repeated in the upcoming parliamentary elections,” Gachechiladze told journalists.

On January 19, EU Special Representative to the South Caucasus Peter Semneby also discussed the election with opposition figures. Semneby expressed hope that there would be no election violations in the spring parliamentary elections. (Black Sea Press)

NGO: armored personnel carrier hits three teens at inauguration rehearsal

An armored personnel carrier hit three adolescents on January 18, Davit Dalakishvili, a representative of the pro-opposition Equality Institute NGO, told journalists.

The personnel carrier was taking part in a rehearsal of the military parade for President Mikheil Saakashvili’s inauguration. (Black Sea Press)

Grenade found near opposition party HQ

An unexploded hand grenade was found near the office of the oppositional New Rights party on January 19, the television station Rustavi 2 reported. A local resident spotted the grenade and informed police. (Black Sea Press)

Tbilisi to host Judo world cup

The Judo World Championships will be held in Tbilisi from January 26–27, the competition’s press center has announced. 300 athletes from 42 countries are due to participate, including 28 from Georgia. The tournament will consist of seven weight categories.

A number of foreign and Georgian companies will sponsor the event. (Black Sea Press)