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Compiled by Liana Bezhanishvili
Friday, February 19
Green Party will stand in local elections

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that at a press conference in the Green Party’s office its General Secretary Gia Gachechiladze has stated that the party will participate in the local government elections. He said that the party had come to the conclusion that the National Movement can be defeated at the elections, though they would explain exactly how later.

The leader of the Green Party did not reveal who its prospective candidate for Mayor would be. He said that he would name this person after the candidates for Tbilisi City Council had been agreed.

Gachechiladze added that local elections are absolutely different from Parliamentary elections. “Local elections need more people on the ground because there are so many candidates. This is why we are trying to find worthy people,” he explained.

At the press conference Gachechiladze presented Zaza Abashidze and Gia Shervashidze, who are candidates for different parts of Tbilisi. He has asked the European Parliament to send a big team of observers to Georgia.

Pardons planned for Easter

In an interview with Rezonansi Chair of the Pardon Commission Elene Tevdoradze has stated: "I will appeal to the President at the end of February for permission to hold another sitting of the Commission. We do generally hold them in March. We were intending to consider the cases of women prisoners so that some could be released for Mother's Day, but the court has not yet given a judgment concerning the well-known mutiny in the women’s prison. While this trial is going on we shall not be able to discuss the issue of a women’s amnesty."

"I have heard that for the elections in May there will be an amnesty. I do not know how many prisoners this will involve, but it will not be a large number. The largest number of cases we have had to consider at one time was 500, and only 81 of those were released. We discussed 90 cases for the New Year but released only 11 prisoners," Elene Tevdoradze said.

"There are numerous applications, but the process is rather complicated. Unfortunately the system is not sufficiently regulated. Now we will embark on reviewing the cases filed in February. I presume the cases of December, January and February will be dealt with together at the March sitting," Tevdoradze said.

The opposition will have a majority on the interfactional group

24 Saati writes that on the interfactional group Parliament has established to prepare for and monitor the local government elections the opposition will have a majority. An agreement on this was achieved between the Parliamentary opposition and majority group after consultations led by Speaker David Bakradze. It was decided that the group would contain 9 members, of whom 5 would be opposition representatives and 4 majority group members.

Opposition MP Guram Chakhvadze will chair the group. Jondi Baghaturia, Giorgi Tortladze, Guram Chakhvadze, Levan Vephkhvadze and Paata Davitaia will be the opposition members, while Pavle Kublashvili and Akaki Minashvili will be two of the majority representatives. Within the next few days the ruling party will nominate its other two members via a group meeting.