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Compiled by Keti Baramidze
Thursday, April 29
Ebralidze will not stand for President

Akhali Taoba reports that Aleksandre Ebralidze will not create his own party and only wants to work with existing ones. Furthermore, he no longer intends to stand for President. He explains that by taking such a step he wants to set an example of political compromise and convince everyone that for him being President was a means of regaining the lost territories and nothing more.

420 members of Ebralidze’s organisation, the World Congress of Georgian Peoples, and evidently he himself are now thinking over who they will support in the forthcoming elections. They are also trying to ensure that Georgian residents temporarily living in Russia can vote for their desired candidates without any problems. For this purpose a coordinating council will be created which Ebralidze will supervise.

The Congress has also drafted the Diaspora Declaration, which states that the Georgian Government must only be removed by constitutional means, Georgia should become a neutral member of European Union and beneficial conditions must be created in the country in order to restore territorial integrity.

Billions needed to supply people with water

24 Saati writes that water supply problems have not been resolved on approximately 70% of Georgia’s territory for years. However under a new programme they will be by 2013. In order to achieve this and conduct large-scale work throughout Georgia 3 billion USD will be invested and the country will take cheap loans from several International Banks. At present water supply work is being undertaken on 40% of Georgia’s inhabited land.

The work regulating water provision and sewerage will be divided into 3 stages, the first of which is due to be completed in 2010, the second in 2012 and the third in 2013. Manager of the Georgian Water Supply Company Irakli Kvashilava maintains that by 2013 Georgian residents will no longer have water supply problems. However all these changes may be followed by increased water tariffs, despite the fact that most Georgians believe that in the country with such huge water resources water must be free.

“Certainly Georgia is rich in water but only in the mountains, and to distribute it we need considerable sums. However, we endeavour to supply people with water without using electricity in the areas (for instance, Zugdidi, Anaklia, Mestia) which possess suitable natural conditions for this,” states Kvashilava.

CEC interested in opposition suggestions

24 Saati reports that Chairman of the National Forum Kakha Shartava and Forum member Irakli Melashvili have presented initiatives to the CEC to improve the election environment in time for the forthcoming local polls. CEC Chairman Zurab Kharatishvili and Civil Registry head Giorgi Vashadze listened to their suggestions. Kharatishvili stated that he approved of them and to boost confidence in the election system such meetings should be held again.

The most important suggestion is to provide electors with biometric documents (a passport or a special voting card). They also say that as soon as the polls close the number of people who have voted must immediately be counted to prevent the number of votes for particular candidates being artificially inflated. Data drawn up by the CEC must also be put on its webpage.

“As far as I’m concerned our suggestions are acceptable to them and from this it follows that they are absolutely ready to hold consultations with us,” Shartava said.