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The News in Brief

Tuesday, May 11
Nino Burjanadze wants snap Presidential elections

Nino Burjanadze, leader of Democratic Movement – United Georgia, will fight for snap Presidential elections in Georgia, she said on BBC TV.

"A President who has destroyed all democratic institutions, broken all the promises of the Rose Revolution and lost 20% of the country’s territory has no right to rule a country’, Burjanadze said. She also said that Georgia’s aspiration to join the West should not affect relations with Russia as Russia itself has established close relations with the EU and the USA.

Nino Burjanadze attended the Victory Day events in Moscow on 9 May. She met the Russian PM on 8 May.

Foreign Ministry has no information on detention

The Georgian Foreign Ministry does not possess any information about the reported detention of the father of Mariam Makhniashvili in Canada. Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze stated this at yesterday's traditional briefing, adding that the Ministry is trying to ascertain the details, but the Embassy has not confirmed the information yet.

A Canadian TV channel reported that Vakhtang Makhniashvili had attacked his neighbour on Saturday and tried to wound him. The neighbour was taken to hospital. His life is not in danger.

Investigators are trying to find out whether Vakhtang Makhniashvili’s behaviour is connected with Mariam Makhniashvili’s disappearance.

Mariam Makhniashvili disappeared from Forest Hill in September last year. Her whereabouts are still unknown.

Davit Jalagania to take part in Ministerial in Strasbourg

Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia Davit Jalagania and colleagues will participate in the 120th meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to be held in Strasbourg on May 11. The Georgian delegation includes Director of the International Organisations Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Sergi Kapanadze.

The Ministerial will focus on the actions taken by the Council of Europe following the 2008 August invasion and ongoing occupation of Georgian territory by Russia, reform of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights and relations between the Council of Europe and the European Union. At the end of the session the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will take over the rotating Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers from Switzerland for the next six months.

Pursuant to decrees of the President of Georgia, on 11 May Davit Jalagania will sign the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Audiovisual Heritage and the European Landscape Convention.
(Prime News)

Labour Party demands discussion of Constitutional amendments

The Georgian Labour Party is calling upon the Constitutional Commission to discuss the draft of amendments to the Constitution proposed for consideration by Parliament in 2003.

Its leader Shalva Natelashvili said at a briefing yesterday that this proposal had been signed by 250,000 citizens of Georgia, but discussion of it had been disrupted by the Rose Revolution.

Natelashvili stated that the amendments included increasing the Government's obligations in the medical insurance and social sectors. Natelashvili said that Parliament should discuss the package of the draft amendments to the constitution, which he said focused on the interests of the people of Georgia.
(Rustavi 2)

Turkish and Turkish-German companies visit Samtskhe-Javakheti

Turkish and Turkish-German companies are interested in constructing hydropower plants in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region. The Ministry of Energy says that three companies have expressed interest in constructing plants on the river Paravani.

After studying their applications the Georgian Government will choose the investor proposing the best terms.
(Prime News)

Injured students in grave condition

Two injured third year students of the European School of Management, Irakli Jakonia and Avtandil Abesadze, are still in critical condition with numerous traumas to their heads and bodies. Both were hospitalised in Ghudushauri clinic in Tbilisi after a successful rescue operation at Zedazeni monastery.

The incident occurred at 6 p.m. on Sunday. The team of the students was on an excursion to Zedazeni monastery when one of them saw his cellphone fall into a ravine. He and his friend tried to enter the ravine but were apparently drunk and failed to keep their balance. Only rescuers could manage to extract them from the ravine.

Doctors say the condition of Irakli Jakonia is particularly critical. He is in a coma and attached to a respirator.

Other students were interrogated by local police the whole night. They rule out any conflict having occurred between the two.
(Rustavi 2)