Prepared by Diana Dundua
Thursday, January 24
“Shalva Natelashvili’s condition is stable”
Akhali Taoba reports that Labor leader Shalva Natelashvili remains at a local clinic undergoing medical tests and treatment for heart problems.
He was hospitalized January 15 after suffering what may have been a heart attack. Labor representatives blamed Natelashvili’s ill health on the stress of the presidential election, in which he was a candidate, and its results.
Doctor Anzor Melia said Natelashvili’s condition is stable but serious.
“Right now, he feels better and is under medical observation. He will still have to stay in the clinic for several more days,” Melia told the paper.
Labor representatives said Natelashvili’s medical expenses, which may eventually include treatment abroad, would be paid by Georgian emigrants living in Germany and France.
“Tbilisi mayor met with museum employees”
Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava met with employees of the capital’s museums in City Hall on January 22, Rezonansi writes.
The mayor spoke about the city’s plans to renovate local museums. Ugulava said city museums’ budgets will be three times higher this year, and that salaries will rise as well.
“I must confess that museums’ infrastructures are in a catastrophic condition, and they need renovation at once,” the mayor said. “These are the institutions that should be visited by as many people as possible.”
Ugulava requested the city’s culture and education department to create a program to bring more students on trips to museums.
“NGOs demand Tbilisi mayor’s resignation”
Sakartvelos Respublika reports that a coalition of NGOs is demanding earlier local elections in Georgia and the resignation of Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava.
The coalition includes the NGOs For Our Rights and Youth Wave.
“There are more than 20 NGOs in the coalition and all of them think it is totally unacceptable that a person who grossly violates human rights be in the post of Tbilisi mayor,” coalition representative Davit Liluashvili declared.
According to the NGO coalition, the country’s opposition is demanding three main things from the government: an independent court system, freedom of the media and improved election law, including reforms to local governance.
The NGOs are planning protests throughout the country.
“Nana Lezhava won’t return to journalism”
Rumors have circulated that former Rustavi 2 journalist Nana Lezhava, now a member of the For a United Georgia opposition political party, will return to broadcast journalism at Imedi TV when it reopens, according to Akhali Taoba.
Lezhava told the newspaper she has heard the rumors, but insists she is done with journalism for now.
“I’m not going to go back to journalism, given the situation in the country right now,” she said.
Note: Imedi TV, founded by Georgian business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili, was initially shutdown by authorities on November 7—a day of massive unrest on Tbilisi’s streets as riot police cracked down on peaceful anti-government protests. It remained off-air after being accused of airing statements encouraging the violent overthrow of the government, but resumed broadcasting on December 12 before voluntarily suspending broadcasts two weeks later in the wake of a scandal over charges that Patarkatsishvili plotted a violent post-election coup.