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Compiled by Lera Khubunaia
Thursday, March 1
Disputed S. Ossetian president-elect leaves politics

The disputed winner of last fall's South Ossetian presidential election considers herself a political prisoner, reports Rezonansi.

Ala Jioeva is currently being held in hospital, after sustaining injuries in a police raid on her headquarters February 9. Although she was declared the winner of the November elections, the South Ossetian Supreme Court annulled the results and scheduled a repeat election for March 25. Jioeva refused to give up her position, planning an independent inauguration ceremony for February 10.

Announcing her intention to leave politics, Jioeva publicly responded to a letter from one of her supporters, a former student.

“I decided to show to the public the concern and pain of my student, to show them that the voice of an honest person is priceless. Such warm voices are [needed] in order to create a bright future for our children," she wrote.

International conflict analyst Giorgi Khutsishvili believes that Jioeva's announcement means she will seek political shelter abroad. There are some expectations that Jioeva will appeal to a European state.

Jioeva has taken her time with her decision, according to Khutsishvili, in hopes of receiving refugee status.

Grigolia asks Saakashvili to announce post-Presidency plans

Inga Grigolia, former TV anchor and current Christian-Democrat member of Tbilisi City Council, has demanded that President Mikheil Saakashvili publicly pledge that he will not seek the Prime Minister's seat.

“In my opinion, one of the most important issues will be brought up by Giorgi Targamadze; Saakashvili must make a public pledge that after ending his presidency, [that] he will not become Prime Minister; he will not follow in Putin’s footsteps. It will be interesting to hear Saakashvili’s opinion on this request,” Grigolia remarked.

During an interview with Rezonansi, Grigolia also attacked Bidzina Ivanishvili and his Georgian Dream movement. In her opinion, Ivanishvili believes that “whoever is not with me, is my enemy” – which Grigolia believes is just like Saakashvili’s rhetoric.

She also spoke about her political concerns. “For me, the most important issues are regarding the problems with freedom of speech and human rights,” Grigolia said. “Also, there are many other important issues such as social problems, tariffs, issues existing in the agricultural field, and many other problems.”