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Compiled by Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, August 24
Alasania and Gamkrelidze to take part in Mayoral elections?

Akhali Taoba reports that some of the opposition parties intend to hold a primary election to identify a candidate for the forthcoming Tbilisi Mayoral elections. This is a Conservative Party initiative. Which opposition parties will be involved is not yet known.

Bidzina Gujabidze from the Conservatives has stated: “The opposition have no personal leader at this stage. Levan Gachechiladze is frequently cited as the possible opposition candidate for Mayor but other figures aren’t excluded.” Gujabidze suggested that the Alliance for Georgia may present a candidate but it is not known who.

Irakli Alasania and Davit Gamkrelidze are both rumoured to have ambitions to be Tbilisi Mayor and both are members of the Alliance for Georgia. Therefore, Bidzina Gujabidze said, a primary election will have great importance in identifying both a common Mayoral candidate and an overall leader of the opposition.

If Alasania takes power I will remain in opposition- Konstantine Gamsakhurdia

Rezonansi reports that Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, the Freedom Party leader, has said that an armed provocation is being planned in Samegrelo which will be falsely ascribed to his Party and warned the public about this danger. He also said that he was the first to present a list of political prisoners to the Security Council, but none of the imprisoned Freedom Party activists on that list have been released.

Gamsakhurdia says that his party will not participate in the local elections. “The Mayoral election is a way for some political forces to come to power; they see them as a step towards winning Presidential elections, and I have no desire to support a new Mikheil Saakashvili.” Asked, “Do you mean Alasania?” he answered: “Yes, and if Irakli Alasania comes into power I will stay in opposition.”

Conservative Party demands that the sequestration of Elit Electronics funds ceases

Akhali Taoba reports that the Conservative Party is demanding that the sequestration of the assets of Elit Electronics stops immediately. Officials have impounded the company’s bank accounts as compensation for the alleged non-payment of a tax bill, meaning that the company can still trade but all the money it makes must go straight to the national budget.

Kakha Kukava from the party stated at a press conference held near one of the Elit Electronics shops that this is a large-scale company and the national budget will lose valuable revenue if it goes out of business. “If the Tax Police have some claim against the company they should send their inspectors and check it,” he said.

Kukava said that 3,000 employees will be left without job. In such hard economic conditions this is a cruel blow for our citizens and the Government should pay attention to this problem. The Conservative Party presented 2009 statistics which show that this year’s unemployment rate is the highest Georgia has seen since independence, saying that the reason for this catastrophic index is Mikheil Saakashvili, who is preventing private business development in Georgia.

Elit Electronics has released a statement saying, “Elit Electronics shops were closed yesterday. The company has been having a legal argument since 2007 concerning 7 million GEL unfairly charged by the Financial Police. The court process has not been completed yet but on August 21 finance inspectors came into our shops to withdraw this sum. That is why our company is unable to continue functioning.” The Conservative Party is demanding a proper investigation of all matters connected with the failures of private enterprises.