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Prepared by Anna Kamushadze
Tuesday, February 5

“Kokoity regime cut off water to the population of Tskhinvali”

A Georgian MP from state-controlled South Ossetia says separatist claims that the Georgian government has cut off drinking water to the breakaway region are groundless, according to Alia.

MP Guram Vakhtangashvili, of Didi Liakhvi, said an OSCE monitoring group examined water pipelines on Georgian-controlled territory and found no damage.

“[The separatists] have problems themselves, and groundlessly blame the Georgian side. I know for sure that pipes are damaged in [separatist-controlled] Tskhinvali and Java regions,” he said.

Vakhtangashvili claimed the Tbilisi-backed alternative South Ossetian administration had offered several times to help the de facto separatist authorities patch up their water supply, but was turned down.

“Public broadcaster must not be an arena for curses and insults”

Akhali Taoba writes about one of the opposition’s main demands from the government, the formation of a new, politically-balanced board of directors for the state-owned public broadcaster.

The newspaper interviewed Givi Vepkhvadze, a well-known producer with years of experience at the public broadcaster, who urged the new board to conduct itself with more dignity than many other partisan commissions in Georgia.

“This must not be an arena for confrontation between the government and the opposition,” he said. “There must not be constant arguments and swearing. On the contrary, if you are the public broadcaster you have a responsibility to elevate society.”

“Work on Bagrati temple will restart in spring”

Archeological work at Bagrati temple will restart in the spring, Akhali Taoba reports.

In collaboration with UNESCO, specialists will be repairing and examining the temple. Built in Kutaisi during the late 10th and early 11th century AD reign of Bagrat III, the temple is where President Mikheil Saakashvili was spiritually sworn in for his second term.

“Parliamentary elections will be held with new lists”

Alia speculates on the upcoming parliamentary elections, writing that each political party will try to fill the top spots on their party lists with well-known politicians with clean reputations.

With parliament shrinking from 235 to 150 MPs, the newspaper continues, competition will be tight. The top spot on the ruling party’s list, Alia predicts, will go to Speaker of Parliament Nino Burjanadze.

The newspaper goes on to suggest that many of the ruling party’s unpopular top figures will be left off the new list to appease voters.