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The News in Brief

Wednesday, January 6
Abkhaz separatist regime expects recognition from Pacific Ocean countries

Abkhazia expects to be recognised by several Pacific Ocean countries simultaneously in 2010, the so-called Foreign Minister of the occupation regime has told the Russian media.

"After Nauru, a number of countries are ready to consider recognising us," Sergey Shamba said. He confirmed that the Nauruan Foreign Minister will use his own influence and help Abkhazia gain international recognition.

Shamba also said that Sokhumi believes several countries of Latin America will also recognise it. He also asserted that the European Union is changing its position towards the separatist regime step by step. (Rustavi 2)

Government reshuffled again

By the Prime Minsterís order, Nikoloz Dzimtseishvili has been appointed First Deputy Minister of Defence. Vakhtang Makaridze has also been appointed a Deputy Minister of Defence. Levan Zarandia has been appointed First Deputy Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance, Giorgi Zedgenidze the Deputy Minister of Environment Protection and Giorgi Chakhnashvili Deputy Minister of Education. Chakhnashvili was previously Deputy Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance. Akaki Seferteladze, another former Deputy Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance, has been appointed First Deputy Minister of Education.

Georgian Public Broadcasting journalist Nika Avaliani has been appointed Deputy State Minister for Diaspora Issues, Interpressnews was told by a spokesman of the Ministry. Avaliani was involved in a scandal during the opposition protests outside the Public Broadcasting building when he was assaulted by opposition activists who were detained. (Interpressnews)

Kukava calls on people to apply for CEC vacancies

Kakha Kukava, one of the leaders of the Conservative Party, has called on the public to apply for the vacancies for members and Chairman of the Central Electoral Commission.

Applications should be submitted between 4 and 8 January, Kukava said at a press conference, as the Government has specially chosen the New Year period for this to prevent opposition supporters applying, adding that no reports about the CEC elections were being shown on TV. After 8 January the applications will be sent to the President, after which candidates will be selected, Kukava noted. The terms of three members of the CEC, and its Chairman, have expired.

Kukava said that Levan Tarkhnishvili and Giorgi Vashadze, Chairman of the Civil Registry, were going to submit applications and couldnít be independent candidates as they are supported by the Government. Political candidates should not take part in the competition, he said, adding that CEC members should be selected according to their professionalism. (Interpressnews)

Murder suspect detained

Hamlet Gajiev, 47, badly wounded Kakha Makharoblishvili, 43, in a dispute on New Years Eve in Tbilisi. The two men are related by the marriage of their children. Makharoblishvili died of his wounds in hospital and Hamlet Gajiev has been detained and admitted to the crime.

It is reported that the deceased person had sexual relations with Gajiev's wife and jealousy prompted the crime. An investigation is being conducted by employees of Tbilisi Police Main Division of the Georgian Interior Ministry under articles 108 and 236 of by the Criminal Code of Georgia.

If found guilty, Hamlet Gajiev may face 7 to 15 years in prison. (Rustavi 2)

Environmental Inspection monitoring Batumi Oil Terminal

The Environment Inspection of Georgia has undertaken monitoring of the Batumi Oil Terminal in Adjara Region. This follows the local population's complaints that a strong smell spreading from the terminal was causing problems.

A special commission of experts from the Environmental Inspection is monitoring the oil terminal. The results of this monitoring will be aired in a few days. Representatives of the terminal refrain from making any official statement although they report that no difficulties have been experienced in the working process so far. (Rustavi 2)

Opposition MP presents action plans to society and media

Opposition MP Jondi Baghaturia, who leads the movement Kartuli Dasi (Georgian Troupe), presented his party's action plan for the current year to the media and the public on Tuesday. He named equalising the minimum pension with the subsistence level and providing socially vulnerable families with medical insurance as the party's priorities. .

Jondi Baghaturia has already sent a package of proposals to the Georgian Parliament. He also intends to gather signatures in support of these. (Rustavi 2)