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Compiled by Liana Bezhanishvili
Thursday, February 18
Movement for Fair Georgia demands reforms in healthcare

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that the Movement for Fair Georgia believes that the healthcare situation in the country will not improve until the Government makes it a priority. More funds need to be allocated to make the system function effectively, and the party recommends that 4% of GDP should be set aside for healthcare.

The Cheap Insurance policy also needs to be reviewed, Noghaideli's party says. It maintains that silently withdrawing the finances of this was a mistake and the Government should cover 70 percent of policy costs. The policies on offer should also be of better quality and ultimately the Government should provide health policies for all.

"The 100 New Hospitals policy also seems to have been forgotten about. In today’s economic situation privatisation should stop, and those hospitals which have been privatised but are in an unacceptable condition must be returned to the State. The State must undertake a new commitment to build new hospitals for the next seven years,” stated the Movement's Levan Roinishvili.

Gigi Ugulava must be taken to court, says Davitashvili

Akhali Taoba writes that Koba Davitashvili has demanded that the Prosecutor's Office start a court case against Gigi Ugulava. If it does not do so, he is threatening to hold a demonstration in front of the Prosecutor's Office on 25 February.

"I have documentary evidence that Gigi Ugulava illegally transferred 9,277 GEL to his wife, the Deputy Head of the Mayor's Apparatus Lela Kiladze, and 2,539 GEL to Giorgi Meladze from the Tbilisi municipal budget on 18 September and 24 October 2008. There has been no official explanation of why these sums were transferred,” stated Koba Davitashvili.

Tbilisi City Hall considers that the charges of the leader of the People’s Party are unfounded. It says the sums concerned were travel expenses included as such in the accounts. The City Hall Press Service states that Mikheil Saakashvili, MPs, Gigi Ugulava and the Deputy Head of the Tbilisi City Hall Administration went on an official visit to the USA in 2008, as widely reported in the media, and these sums relate to that visit.

Tbilisi voters are more ready for the elections than the political parties

"I do not see any possibility of achieving agreement on a single opposition candidate for Mayor because the opposition parties are very different. Certain groups of parties might nominate a single candidate, but I doubt that there will be only one opposition contender," analyst and Alliance for Georgia representative Vakhtang Khmaladze states in an interview with Akhali Taoba.

Asked if adopting a single candidate was the only way to beat Ugulava, Khmaladze said: "Agreeing on a common candidate means that all the oppositional parties will reject their own candidate in favour of one candidate. But you then have to address the issues of goal and conformity. In other words, you might reject a better candidate for a worse one just to agree on one person, but the outcome of this would not be good. The issue is a rather complicated one. I therefore suppose there will be several candidates in the elections, and the result will depend on which of these the electors prefer.

"It is harder to rig elections in Tbilisi than elsewhere. Tbilisi electors are more aware of violations and have more desire to eradicate them. It is harder to manipulate Tbilisi electors than those in the regions. Furthermore, the voters lists are being checked and it will be possible to prevent repeat voting on the basis of this. Therefore, there are chances to reduce the possibility of falsifications," Vakhtang Khmaladze considers.