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Compiled by Sopo Datishvili
Tuesday, February 24
Ugulava - builder or destroyer?

Kviris Palitra reports that residents of Kostava Street have held a protest rally against the construction of a multistory block by the Grato Passage company near Kostava Street 41/1. They say that the construction works are being undertaken illegally and that the authorities at City Hall, and in particular the Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava, are responsible for allowing this.

The local residents say that after the construction began their house walls cracked and degenerated. The building company has refused to satisfy the demands of the people and reinforce these walls.

The meeting had an unusual postscript. A placard hung on one of the balconies, saying “Ugulava destroys us” was attacked (according to information given to Kviris Palitra by employees of City Hall). The attackers tried to substitute this placard with one saying “Ugulava builds.”

Temur Chkheidze will be granted the Order of Honour

Kviris Palitra reports that the head of the Giorgi Tovstonogov Theatre (in Saint Petersburg, Russia), the Georgian Temur Chkheidze, will be awarded the Russian State Order of Honour. President Dmitry Medvedev has announced that Chkheidze will receive this honour for his contribution to the development of the theatre and for his long career.

The award ceremony will be held on March 27 after the first night of Chkheidze’s production of Schiller’s “Don Carlos.” Temur Chkheidze has been the head of the Giorgi Tovstonogov Theatre since 2007. He was appointed to this position after the death of Kyril Lavrov.

Lortkipanidze asks to run Amnesty Commission

Rezonansi reports that representative of the Parliamentary minority Dimitri Lortkipanidze MP has asked the President to appoint him as the head of the Amnesty Commission, even on a month’s trial. He has explained that he wants to “change things and do the job that isn’t being done by the present head.”

Dimitri Lortkipanidze objected to the last amnesty, in which it was originally stated that only prisoners arrested for misusing official positions were going to be released but in the end some more serious criminals were set free. This was done without reference to the Commission, which hadn’t discussed these cases at all.

“The head of the Amnesty Commission, Elene Tevdoradze, said that the President is entitled to ask the General Prosecutor’s or Penitentiary Office to compile lists of people who can be amnestied. But according to the amnesty law, this power rests solely with the Commission,” Lortkipanidze said.

“Tevdoradze has to either acknowledge that the President violated the Commission’s rights or she takes responsibility for failing to protect the Commission’s interests,” he added.

Georgia and Bulgaria sign an economic cooperation document

Rezonansi reports that an agreement has been signed concerning the “cooperation of the Republic of Bulgaria and Georgia in postal connections, electronic communications and technologies” at the Ministry of Economic Development. A third report on Georgia-Bulgarian trading, economic and scientific-technical issues was also signed.

The agreement will contribute to the enhancement of postal connection between Georgia and Bulgaria and the development of electronic communications and information technology exchange between the two countries. It will also act as a guarantee of the reliability and high quality of all these. Both countries will also act as a corridor for telephone and communication connections with other countries, as both are the part of the Trans-Asia-Europe communication corridor.

This new agreement doesn’t require any changes in Georgian legislation or extra financing from the state budget.