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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Friday, August 20
Obligatory conscription has begun

Alia writes that obligatory conscription began on Wednesday and according to information released, there will be 3500 Georgian citizens aged 18 to 27 years conscripted this autumn who will serve in the army for one year. Those who want to postpone this term must pay GEL 2000, however it is unclear so far, what happens if someone does not present himself at all. And what about those who live abroad? Will there be any sanctions against them?

Military analyst Giorgi Tavdgiridze says that any person who wants to postpone the conscription for 6 months must pay GEL 1000. Conscription takes place every 6 months so if some one wants to avoid it for a year the amount will be GEL 2000. Tavdgiridze says that if a person does not present himself on time then a letter of notification will be sent by court, in which the judge notifies him or fines him GEL 1000-1300.

As for those who are abroad, according to existing law those will be responsible in front of court but in such case many young boys may incur a prison term. We suggest to the government that the easiest way will be to decrease the length of the conscription term, Tavdgiridze says.

Alasania: We will not allow Saakashvili’s Putinisation

In his interview with Kvela Siakhle, Leader of Our Georgia-Free Democrats Irakli Alasania talks about the constitutional changes. Alasania said that according to their amendments, a president whose term expires in five years will not be able to become Prime Minister. “This suggestion was not shared by the constitutional commission but we are planning to present our position in the autumn during the parliamentary discussions in order to ensure Saakashvili does not become a future PM. We will not allow Saakashvili’s Putinisation and we will struggle for that,” Alasania said.

To the question whether a group of opposition leaders will try to organise protest rallies, and what Alasania’s position will be, he answers that maybe someone thinks that problem can be solved with rallies, however he and his party prefer elections. “Our aim is to defeat Saakashvili by means of elections and end his being in authority. I do not know who is going to change Saakashvili before that, we prefer elections. If any of the political forces is independent in Georgia, it is us! We do not have any conspiracies with the authorities or business interests. And that's why part of the opposition and government looks at us negatively, as they see us as a strong opponent.

“There are problems of responsibility in the government and proof of this is the frequent changes in cabinet ministers. Incompetent people occupy high positions. Saakashvili does not have a resource to rule the country competitively, which negatively affects the investment climate, economy and financial stability. Saakashvili does not have a serious image either within or outside the country,” Alasania concluded.