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The News in Brief

Monday, November 8
Mikheil Saakashvili Signed New Constitution of Georgia

The President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, has signed the new Constitution of Georgia.

The document was edited in Parliament and sent to the President for signature last week.

On October 15, the Parliament of Georgia sent, approved by the supreme legislative body, a draft of the new constitution to the president for signature.

Some of the changes will enter into force after promulgation, the other part of the document - from January 2011. The new Constitution will be fully put into force from 2013, after the next parliamentary and presidential elections and the country will move to a new model of governance.

The new model of the Constitution provides for the reduction of presidential powers and their redistribution between the parliament and the government.

In accordance with the Constitution the country will have strong legislative and executive powers, as well as a strong president.

Vashadze Met With OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Issues

Foreign Minister of Georgia, Grigol Vashadze, met with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek on November 5.

Knut Vollebaek shared with Grigol Vashadze his impressions regarding the situation on the occupied region of Georgia after visiting Tskhinvali.

The parties agreed on the necessity of continuing active cooperation in priority areas.

The OSCE High Commissioner Knut Vollebaek met with refugees resettled in the village of Tserovani and became acquainted with their living conditions on November 4. Knut Vollebaek and the Minister of Refugees Koba Subeliani discussed issues related to the refugees’ problems, the possibility of their return to homes and further cooperation between the OSCE and Georgia in this regard.

Georgian president opens new facilities for female prisoners

A new prison for female convicts opened in Rustavi city close to Tbilisi on Saturday and the Georgian president visited the new facilities the following day.

Mikheil Saakashvili opened the jail together with the Minister of Correction and Legal Assistance.

The new facilities have been refurbished in accordance with European standards. Along with comfortable cells, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts have also been constructed there.

"What distinguishes us from the post Soviet space is that we are trying to make proper conditions even for those people who do not deserve that. In recent years the imprisoned population has seriously increased, but if you take a good look at it, you will see that crime has at the same time decreased in the country. Therefore, until we start expressing our discontent over why there are so many prisoners, that does not make the government pleased at all, we should think about whether we want to let our children go out without fear and not to be scared, when our family members are late home; not have our cars robbed and not to let some officials, who are already in prison, extort money from us. If we want life like this, we need prisons", Saakashvili said.

The new prison is intended for 1200 inmates. Separate facilities have also been constructed for women, who have very young children.
(Rustavi 2)

Russian occupiers mobilize additional troops in breakaway Abkhazia

Russian aggressors have mobilized additional troops in Gali district of Georgia`s occupied region, Abkhazia. A state of emergency has been declared along the so-called borderline of the occupied territory.

Reportedly, the mobilization has been caused by the solemn presentation of newly constructed military bases in low zone villages of Pichori, Otobaia and Nabakevi of Gali district.

Supposedly, new military equipment will be deployed at the base and families of Russian militants will be living there as well.

The occupants have closed all central and bypass roads leading to Gali district.
(Rustavi 2)

Babutsa Gordadze’s Husband is Arrested

Babutsa Gordadze’s husband Eldar Davitiani has been detained on suspicion of drug smuggling.

Davitiani returned from Istanbul three days ago and gave a testimony to Georgian law enforcers. Gordadze’s relatives explained that Davitiani persuaded his wife and another citizen of Georgia into going to Malaysia.

As the relatives declared, Davitiani was informed about the drugs transfer, though Gordadze and Kokhtashvili were completely unaware.

Two Georgian citizens Babutsa Gordadze and Darejan Kokhtashvili were detained on a charge of drug distribution in Malaysia last week.

New clock tower opens in Tbilisi

The Georgian President attended Saturday's celebration event dedicated to the 30th anniversary of Rezo Gabriadze theatre in Tbilisi. Rennovation works were carried out in the puppet theatre for the celebration and the facade and infrastructure of the theatre has been changed.

A clock tower has also opened outside the theatre. The tower has been constructed according to director Rezo Gabriadze`s draft.

Mikheil Saakashvili said the clock tower should be named among the wonders of the world. He said, Georgia has a genius director and creator Rezo Gabriadze, whose strength of will has served as a driving force for the theatre`s refurbishment.

"I have seen a lot of towers in Prague, Berlin and other cities. Recently, we constructed another tower in Batumi, although I can say that this tower has no equal due to its specific characteristics", Saakashvili said.

Along with the president, the Tbilisi Mayor also attended the celebration event. Gigi Ugulava said that the new tower would make the site more historically significant.
(Rustavi 2)