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Compiled by Inna Egieva
Wednesday, March 11
Minister of Defence may resign

Rezonansi has published an interview with military expert Giorgi Melitauri, in which he says: “The dispute between Vladimer Chachibaia and Bacho Akhalaia ended with the 37-year old officer, who was quite intelligent and well qualified, leaving the armed forces. He was subsequently appointed a Deputy Defense Minister. The head of the General Headquarters, Devi Chankvetadze, became the commander of Land Forces.

“Although Chachibaia was made to leave the armed forces, the scandal in the Ministry of Defence continues. The influence of Bacho Akhalaia is so strong that according to present information Minister of Defence Davit Sikharulidze might leave his position. Moreover, a person close to the Ministry says that Vladimer Chachibaia almost never goes to his job.

“All these things happening in the Ministry of Defence are the direct result of the political influence upon it. Today this influence has gone beyond acceptable boundaries. Sikharulidze was appointed to his position because he was acceptable for society and had good experience in the defence sphere. As for Bacho Akhalaia, he was appointed Deputy Minister to exercise total control,” said Giorgi Melitauri.

According to another military expert, Giorgi Tavdgiridze, Devi Chankvetadze received a Soviet Russian education and his world outlook and values reflect this. The expert thinks that this will result in a final refusal of integration into NATO. He says the present situation is very like that of the 1990s, when after the war in Abkhazia Eduard Shevardnadze was made to appoint a candidate approved by Russia to Chankvetadze’s position.

Ex-Defence Minister Gia Kharkharashvili thinks differently. He maintains that new head of the General Headquarters “is one of the strongest military figures in Georgia,”says Rezonansi.

First United National Exams will be sat this year

Akhali Taoba reports that the new draft law concerning higher educational will undergo some changes and that masters students will now be financed by the Government. The new law covers not only the entry of students to universities but their accreditation by the Government.

This year the United National Masters exams will be taken for the first time. They will be sat in June over 2 days. 1,000 Master students will be selected on the basis of these exams to receive financing from the Government of between GEL 1,000 and GEL 2,250.

Noghaideli to start protest actions in Batumi

Rezonansi reports that the leader of the Movement for Just Georgia, Zurab Noghaideli, has stated that he is going to start protest actions in Batumi. He said his party’s protests in the Adjara Region will be continual and the first will be on March 11.

“I have my own opinion and plans for the future, we are building structures that will be directed against the Government,” Noghaideli said. He said that after his actions the Government will be forced to make a compromise.

Noghaideli said he will join forces with anyone whose goal is to change the Government.

There won’t be snap elections in 2009

Reitingi writes that ruling party MP Nugzar Tsiklauri has stated that “It is unacceptable for us to call a referendum or hold snap elections. If the opposition won’t accept this and try to invade the Government buildings, we will take corresponding actions. We won’t let chaos rule in the country.

“Every opposition party may be loved by the people. However the democratic system about which we are talking is not mere words and media projects. It’s sad that opposition representatives say that a Government which came to power by constitutional means must be overthrown by street actions.

“The Alliance for Georgia’s actions are more moderate. The Burjanadze alliance is taking more radical action, but it is hard to see what they want. In 2009 there probably won’t be snap elections,” Tsiklauri concluded.