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Prepared by Diana Dundua
Monday, February 18
“Levan Tarkhnishvili thinks he is innocent”

Sakartvelos Respublika interviews Central Elections Commission chair Levan Tarkhnishvili, who dismisses the opposition’s accusations of vote fraud as baseless.

In the telephone interview, he declined to comment on the opposition’s demand for his resignation, saying that he is out of the country and unaware of the details.

“I’ve been in Kiev for several days and I cannot comment on the opposition’s accusations. I don’t know the details yet,” Tarkhnishvili said. “But I can confirm that some of the accusations declared by them appear absolutely pointless.”

Note: The opposition is demanding Tarkhnishvili’s resignation, publicly accusing him and President Mikheil Saakashvili of rigging the January 5 presidential election.

“NATO permanent representatives visit Georgia”

A NATO delegation visit continues with a meeting among top Tbilisi officials, Sakartvelos Respublika writes.

On February 15, first deputy Defense Minister Batu Kutelia and second deputy Defense Minister Giorgi Muchaidze met with the delegation to discuss Georgian integration into the Alliance, and the country’s bid for a Membership Action Plan this April at the NATO Bucharest Summit.

“We discussed additional measures that must be passed and will have a positive effect on the upcoming summit,” Kutelia said after the meeting. “During the meeting, all of the delegation supported Georgia moving to a Membership Action Plan.”

“Drug dealer faces a life sentence”

Akhali Taoba reports that on February 15 Georgian police arrested 35-year-old Kakha Bokuchava on charges of drug dealing.

While searching Bokuchava, police reportedly found 30 tablets of Subutex, the current opiate of choice in Georgia, and another 229 tablets in his flat.

An investigation is underway, and police say Bokuchava could face a life sentence.