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The News in Brief

Thursday, March 25
Statement by Defence Ministry

Special Operational Forces Corporal Soso Zhvania has been heavily wounded by a stray bullet during training at the Gonio military firing range. The serviceman was quickly transferred to Batumi City Hospital for an urgent operation. However despite resuscitation it was impossible to save the soldier. His body has been handed over to his family in the town of Zugdidi.

The Military Police are investigating the case. One serviceman has already been detained. (Ministry of Defence of Georgia)

National Forum meets US Ambassador

Representatives of the National Forum have met US Ambassador to Georgia John Bass. The pre-election situation was discussed, Kakha Shartava said after the meeting.

The leaders of the party talked about unequal campaign conditions, informing the Ambassador that one of the Mayoral candidates had used administrative recourses illegally, Shartava said. The party leaders also presented initiatives for improving the election environment.

The leaders of the National Forum said that it was agreed at the meeting that this cooperation would continue if opposition parties fight to change the electoral environment. (Interpressnews)

Labour Party supports residents of Rustavi

The Labour Party of Georgia is objecting to the cost of drinking water in Rustavi city. Paata Jibladze of the party went to the Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday and submitted a letter of protest from three thousand residents of the city who complain about the high cost of the local water, which is harmful to health unless it is boiled.

The opposition party urged the NRCEG to address this problem, however, its chair says the commission is only authorised to discuss this problem if the Rustavi water distribution company applies to it. (Rustavi 2)

Deadline for participating in primaries expires on March 28

Kakha Kukava of the Conservative Party has said that the deadline for nominating candidates for the primary elections expires on March 28. According to the regulations adopted each party wishing to participate should nominate two candidates in each constituency.

Kukava said that Tbilisi is the priority for the opposition but meeting voters in Marneuli, Dmanisi and the southern regions of Georgia is also very important. The Conservative Party says it has already selected 400 single-mandate seat candidates for the upcoming local government elections. (Rustavi 2)

Memorandum of Cooperation

The biennial Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs and the National Centre of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases has been confirmed once again. This cooperation seeks to control the spread of tubercular infections in the penitentiary system.

The new agreement, signed by Deputy Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance Paata Sulaberidze, foresees the Ministry properly implementing the Tuberculosis Control Programme in the prisons. Since 1998 this programme has been run by the International Committee of the Red Cross. (Rustavi 2)

Mayoral candidate objects to closure of Laghidze Waters

The People`s Democrats candidate for Tbilisi Mayor, Nika Ivanishvili, went to Rustaveli Avenue today to express his protest at the closure of the Laghidze Waters cafe, which houses two shops belonging to popular brands.

Ivanishvili said the closure of Laghidze Waters was an example of how unreasonable the municipal government was. "This place was the pride of Tbilisi and one of the most popular sightseeing spots. Someone has removed it through his indifference and by this decision wants to deprive us of our heritage, which we must pass on to our offspring," the candidate said. He added that the Tbilisi Government would return Laghidze Waters to its previous site when his team wins the elections. (Rustavi 2)

Collapsing balcony in Kutaisi kills man

The collapse of a balcony in the city of Kutaisi, Imereti region, has killed a man.

The accident took place in the centre of the city at Gaponov street. A father and daughter were on the balcony at the time. The father died on the spot, while the daughter was taken to hospital. She is in a poor condition.

Local officials and emergency service officers are investigating. (Interpressnews)

CSD arrests man for bribery

Officers of the Constitutional Security Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia have detained Ioseb Chutkerashvili, the Head of Department for Veterans Affairs of the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Security, on charges of accepting bribes. The detainee is accused of systematically extorting cash bribes of 200 GEL in return for registering citizens as veterans of war.

The crime carries a term of imprisonment of up to 9years. The case is being investigated by employees of the Constitutional Security Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia. (Rustavi 2)