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The News in Brief

Thursday, July 30
Dimitri Lortkipanidze –Government trying to appoint Ombudsman not elect him

The Parliamentary minority’s candidate for Ombudsman, Dimitri Lortkipanidze, has stated that the Government is trying to appoint an Ombudsman, not elect him at a special sitting. He demanded that the election process proceed more slowly.

Lortkipanidze asked the Parliamentary majority’s candidate Giorgi Tughushi to explain and comment upon the fact that discussion of the issue is going so quickly and Parliament is voting on it on July 31. Tughushi replied that he doesn’t like the rapidity of the process either but he will use this period to meet NGOs and people interested in this issue.

The discussion of Giorgi Tughushi and Dimitri Lortkipanidze’s candidacies will continue at the special sitting of Parliament on July 31 where a vote will be taken. (Interpressnews)

Georgian NGO members return to Tbilisi

Eleven observers from the Georgian NGO Fair Elections have returned to Georgia from Chisinau, where they had been held for two days while the Moldovan Government prevented them from entering the country.

The observers spent a couple of nights in Chisinau airport, and complain they were held in unbearable conditions, left hungry and thirsty, without the right to make telephone calls. Other members of the organisation, who travelled to Moldova with the status of permanent residents, also left the country and returned to Tbilisi on Tuesday night.

The NGO members had arrived in Moldova to monitor the early Parliamentary elections taking place there. The European Network of Election Monitoring Organisations, under whose aegis Fair Elections sent its observers to Moldova, has also decided to leave the country due to the current political situation in Moldova. They say the Moldovan Government has violated all international laws of monitoring by preventing international observers from monitoring the elections.

The Moldovan Government has prevented 53 observer organisations from monitoring the elections. Reportedly, the Georgian NGO plans to file law suits in international courts and call upon the Foreign Ministries of all countries to publish notes of protest. (Rustavi 2)

Hail inflicts serious damage

Strong hail has inflicted serious damage on the Kakheti Region of Georgia. The Lagodekhi and Telavi districts were particularly damaged by last night’s disaster. Vineyards, maize fields and tomato orchards have been flattened. The hail has also damaged houses in the villages of Heretiskari, Ikalto, Akhasheni, Napareuli and Ruispiri.

Reportedly, 80 % of agricultural lands in the affected area have been destroyed. The local authorities are counting the damage, promising the population that they will discuss the issue of compensation. (Interpressnews)

Drivers hold meeting at Rikhe

Chairman of the Transport Trade Union Lavrenti Alalnia has attended an action held by Kutaisi drivers at Rikhe which attracted around 300 people. The drivers were protesting about the local government’s tenders for new minibus routes and the replacement of minibuses with big buses, saying that they bought their vehicles on credit and their families will suffer as a result of this.

DM Minibus drivers bore placards saying “Misha help!” Alalnia told Interpressnews that the drivers couldn’t solve their problem at the local level so are going to met the Kutaisi majority member and other officials in the hope of solving their problem. (Interpressnews)

Alasania continues to hold meetings in Samegrelo

Leader of Our Georgia-Free Democrats Irakli Alasania continues to hold meetings in the Samegrelo region. Alasania held meeting in Darcheli village. He promised the population that he would work out approaches to solve their problems and present them at a subsequent meeting. Alasania intends to meet population of Zugdidi next. (Interpressnews)

Georgian doctors save Abkhaz child

A 10 month-old child from Abkhazia who has been hospitalised in Tbilisi is being held in the Iashvili Children’s Clinic and doctors say her condition is stable now.

The parents of the child say the girl was inoculated three months ago and the vaccination affected the child`s health. The parents took the girl to Krasnodar and Sochi in Russia, but doctors there failed to make a diagnosis.

Georgian doctors hope to discharge the baby from hospital in a few days. The legal Abkhazian Government will cover the cost of her treatment. (Rustavi 2)