The messenger logo

The Week in Brief

Friday, February 8
The opposition say talks with the government have stalled, as they take to the streets in continued protest of what they claim was a rigged presidential election.

Top EU representatives in Tbilisi to discuss the country’s European Neighborhood Policy action plan voiced support for Georgia’s progress so far and promised further European integration to come.

The government’s making-an-omelet approach to human rights is “leading Georgia away from international standards” and “represents a gamble with freedom,” according to an annual Human Rights Watch report released January 31.

Allies of billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili, who is charged with plotting to overthrow the state, formed a new parliamentary faction to represent his interests. Gocha Jojua, the faction’s leader, suggested they may compete in upcoming parliamentary elections.

President Mikheil Saakashvili replaced four of the country’s regional governors, with more changes expected. Saakashvili has called for a revival of local government.

Saakashvili formed a commission to consider property disputes between citizens and the government, a source of criticism during his first term. It will be chaired by Human Rights Ombudsman Sozar Subari, a fierce critic of the government’s alleged human rights violations, and is to work hand-in-hand with newly-appointed Prosecutor General Eka Tkeshelashvili.

Recently-resigned foreign affairs minister Gela Bezhuashvili will helm the country’s modest spy agency, answering directly to Saakashvili. The president promised that Bezhuashvili, a close friend, would reinvigorate the intelligence service, which he added is ‘like the ones we see in the movies.’

Greenoak Holdings is selling the Batumi oil terminal and management rights to Batumi port to the Kazakhstan’s KazMunaiGas. Kazakhstan’s state energy company, through a subsidiary, also owns the Tbilisi gas distribution company.