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The News in Brief

Thursday, May 27
National Council`s candidate leaves race

Kakha Kukava of the opposition National Council has withdrawn his candidacy for the Vake electoral district of Tbilisi, saying that an opinion poll had revealed that Alliance for Georgia candidate Davit Saganelidze was more likely to gain the seat at the forthcoming local elections.

At a press conference yesterday Kukava called upon other opposition candidates to do the same in order to increase the opposition's chances of winning the elections on May 30. (Rustavi 2)

Council of Europe observers arrive in Tbilisi

The members of the Council of Europe monitoring mission have arrived in Tbilisi. Its 25 members will observe the situation before, during and after the elections.

The head of the delegation and several other members arrived in Tbilisi on Wednesday morning. They said they were well-prepared for these elections and looking forward to polling day. The delegation will give a press conference next Monday.

During the visit the delegation will hold meetings with Georgian Government members, opposition leaders, NGOs and the media. They will also monitor the elections in the city of Rustavi. (Rustavi 2)

Kurt Walker reiterates his position

Former U.S. envoy to NATO Kurt Walker has reiterated his point of view on the Sochi 2014 Olympics in an interview with Rustavi 2. In an article was published in The Washington Post on Tuesday the former Ambassador said that the participation of Western leaders in the Sochi Olympics would automatically mean the recognition of Georgia's breakaway territories. He also said that occupied Abkhazia was only a few kilometres from Sochi, which was sufficient reason for every country to boycott the Games.

Walker urged the West to put the maximum pressure on Russia before the Olympic Games in 2014. (Rustavi 2)

Rally at Noghaideli's office

A rally was held outside the office of the Movement For Fair Georgia, led by Zurab Noghaideli, yesterday. People from various regions employed by the party to conduct the checking of the voters lists accused the party leader of not paying their salaries. People from the Kareli, Khashuri and Kaspi regions demanded their promised wages but no one emerged from the office to speak to them.

The Movement For Fair Georgia later made a special statement calling the protestors provocateurs paid by the ruling party to organise such protests. (Rustavi 2)

Incident between Manana Archvadze-Gamsakhurdia and journalists at Mtatsminda Pantheon

An incident has taken place between journalists and Manana Archvadze-Gamsakhurdia’s supporters at the Mtatsminda Pantheon.

Manana Archvadze-Gamsakhurdia and her supporters called on journalists to leave the Pantheon. She expressed dissatisfaction that the journalists "covered only sensations, whilst not paying attention to Tsotne Gamsakhurdia’s case."

Manana Archvadze-Gamsakhurdia’s supporters were also going to protest against the Christian-Democrats, who were planning to visit Merab Kostava’s grave at 15:00. They said that the Christian-Democrats called the police on them in November and the police cracked down on them and took them into the forest. (Interpressnews)