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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Tuesday, January 22

“Demur Giorkhelidze: Possibly investments will decrease before the next elections!”

Akhali Taoba quotes economist Demur Giorkhelidze as warning that foreign investment levels will depend on how political events unfold in the beginning of Mikheil Saakashvili’s second term.

Giorkhelidze advised the government to swiftly compromise with the opposition, or risk keeping potential investors on the sidelines as they wait for the results of the spring parliamentary elections.

“Many foreign investors want to invest in Georgia, but they are very cautious. Their minds could change. It is essential a competitive investment environment is established, and the dangers of investing in Georgia are neutralized,” Giorkhelidze said.

He added that in a country without strong state institutions, potential investors are always wary of investing money before uncertain elections.

“Oppositional People’s Party to protest in front of the US embassy in Tbilisi”

The oppositional People’s Party is planning to stage a protest today in front of the US embassy, Mteli Kvira reports.

Party leader Koba Davitashvili said the rally would be in protest of Washington’s endorsement of the results of the January 5 presidential election.

Davitashvili is a member of the nine-party opposition coalition, but his People’s Party is expected to be the sole organizer of the protest.

“The Georgian government forged the January 5 early presidential elections, but various international organizations and the US embassy gave positive evaluations of the results. With this protest, we will remind the US that it should stand by all of Georgia and not just one person—Mikheil Saakashvili,” Davitashvili said.

“Ramaz Sakvarelidze: Nino Burjanadze will be the top figure in the National Movement electoral list!”

Politic analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze told Sakartvelos Respublika that Parliamentary Speaker Nino Burjanadze is sure to be the first name on the ruling National Movement’s electoral list for the upcoming parliamentary elections.

“The outlines of the [National Movement’s] new electoral list are already established,” Sakvarelidze said.

He emphasized that the more unpopular ruling MPs are due to take their leave from the political scene.

“There are plenty of faces in the majority team well-known for ‘cynical statements’ and ‘aggression.’ I think [President Mikheil] Saakashvili will remove these people from his environment, as he has already acknowledged that those people negatively influenced his image and created serious problems for him,” the analyst said.

Sakvarelidze predicts that new additions to the president’s team will be previously low-profile politicians without a record of harsh rhetoric.

“Nino Burjanadze will top the electoral list because she has always been reserved and balanced in her speech, and always maintained the peace,” Sakvarelidze concluded.

“Tornike Kilanava: no armed confrontation in Gali!”

Akhali Taoba reports that the Gali coordinator for the Tbilisi-backed Abkhazian government-in-exile, Tornike Kilanava, denied claims by the Abkhaz separatist administration of an armed confrontation between Georgian and Abkhaz militants in the Gali district village of Nabakevi on January 19.

De facto Abkhaz authorities reported that around ten Georgian soldiers attempted to enter separatist-controlled territory on January 19.

“Abkhaz law enforcement easily solved this problem,” a secessionist representative reportedly said. “Our solders opened fire on the Georgian militants…driving them off the territory.”

Kilanava called the claim a “provocation,” and insisted the Abkhazian conflict zone is “absolutely calm.”

Gali district is a predominantly ethnic Georgian-populated region in breakaway Abkhazia.