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Complied by Liana Bezhanishvili
Friday, November 6
Confusion over depoliticisation of GPB board

Rezonansi reports that the sources of the remaining members of the board of Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) have been agreed. After long negotiation it has been decided that four of the six remaining places on the board will be filled by persons nominated by the Media Club and the other two by Christian Democrat nominees.

On 16 October the Presidents’ Administration declared that within 30 days the applications for these places on the board should be made to Parliament, but before the final deadline negotiations between civil sector and political parties would continue. The Media Club came up with the initiative of completing the board with apolitical appointees and nominated their own candidates, but its head Ninia Kakabadze stated that the Parliamentary opposition did not support this and rejected the idea of quotas and a completely apolitical board.

On President Saakashvili’s initiative Parliament has made legislative alterations to increase the size of the GPB board to 15 members. The President’s idea was that the board would be elected on a 7+7+1 basis, i.e. 7 Government representatives, 7 from the opposition and one independent.

“Consultations are almost finished. We met almost all the opposition parties and asked them not to support our candidates because we do not want their support. We want them to say that they are not going to take part in this process because filling the GPB board with political representatives, even opposition ones, is illegal. You are the first person from whom I have heard that the Media Club will nominate four members of the board and the Christian Democrats the other two. I know consultations are still going on but what decisions been made I do not know,” stated Ninia Kakabadze.

“We are waiting for the elections, and when they start the candidates will be named. Before then we will not have any meeting because I think we have said everything and all the opposition parties know about our request and idea. In the near future we will present our candidates’ list and those who support them will sign it,” added Ninia Kakabadze, who added that the two nominated lawyers who would not now be joining the board would be replaced as candidates by the Caucasian Media School’s Dean and media investigator Lika Chakhunashvili and Human Rights Centre lawyer Ann Natsvlishvili.

Giorgi Tsagareishvili appeals for opposition unity

Versia has published an interview with opposition member Gia Tsagareishvili. “Today dialogue is necessary, we cannot simply protest all the time. The Government is under sufficient pressure from the West and is being compelled to hold democratic elections.

“I do not agree with the concept of dividing the opposition into radical and non-radical segments. We all have the same purpose and should unite around it. For example, Nino Burjanadze is said to be on the radical side, but a year ago she was saying the same thing I am, that the demonstrations must finish and that we cannot achieve our purpose this way.

“Concerning Konstantine Gamsakhurdia entering Parliament I will not say anything. If Levan Gachechiladzes wanted to stand for Tbilisi Mayor I would not be surprised, because he has such an ambition.

“We must fight against this regime together. On 7 November I will stand with my people.”

Badri Bitsadze: They are trying to provoke me to shoot someone

“Strange cars follow me all the time. They psychologically pressurise me. A person’s life has no value for them. They are well aware that I have the right to carry a gun, and therefore they are trying to provoke me to shoot. They intend to condemn to death whoever is involved in provoking me,” says Badri Bitsadze, former head of the Georgian Border Police and husband of opposition leader Nino Burjanadze, in an interview in Versia.

“I was leaving the Maestro TV station when they blocked my way, but I managed to protect myself,” he said. Asked why he related this police action to him visiting Maestro, he said “They did it because I told the truth there. I stated that Pankisi Gorge has become internationally known as a terrorist haven due to the Government’s failure to control it. It was good to reopen it for poor refugees but they were followed by other people. Today Pankisi would not bear any danger if the present Government had not failed to resolve the problems there due to its incapacity. Believe me, Saakashvili watches Maestro. I am sure that when he saw me on TV he ordered his agents to punish me at once. But they failed to spontaneously perform their operation effectively, just as they never manage to perform preplanned operations effectively.

“My physical liquidation is not profitable for them, because there would be no need to launch an investigation into my death, everything would be clear, they would be exposed. Therefore they have decided to provoke me to shoot someone, or they will kill someone and send me to prison for that murder,” Bitsadze said, adding: “The Minister of the Interior has not personally contacted me, but I have found certain messages on my mobile. They are horrible messages. I cannot repeat them.”