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The News in Brief

Monday, July 16
Opposition Rally concludes in Gori

On Sunday evening, thousands of supporters of the Georgian Dream Coalition attended a rally that took place in the town of Gori. At the rally, party leader Bidzina Ivanishvili unveiled his choices for majoritarian candidates in parliament. While other recent opposition meetings saw outbreaks of violence, when this story went to print, no violent incidents had been reported.

However, there were reports of the authorities deliberately making the transportation logistics of rally-goers difficult. Opposition supporters claim that there were incidents of arbitrary traffic stops by the Georgian authorities, making travel to the Gori region complicated and delaying their arrival to Gori.
(The Messenger

Diplomats meet with Georgian Dream leaders

On Thursday evening the Ambassador of Switzerland, Guenther Baechler, invited Bidzina Ivanishvili and the top leaders from the Georgian Dream Coalition together with a group of ambassadors and civil society organizations for an open exchange on the electoral process. All the sides agreed that the up-coming elections not only have to be democratic and fair, but also peaceful, free of intimidation, and non-violent under any circumstances. Against growing concerns about polarization and potential escalations, it is the role of the international community to impartially observe the elections, to mitigate tensions, and to contribute to a climate of political dialogue and fair competition. Further exchanges on electoral issues will follow.

Ilia the Second: Violence Unacceptable

Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia Ilia the Second condemns that incident that took place in the village of Karaleti and hopes that Georgians will not throw stones at each other in the future.

The patriarch said that throwing mud at each other was unacceptable, though this week he heard that worse behaviour also occurred (stone-throwing). The Patriarch addressed everyone, including the government and opposition party members, as well as common citizens not to behave in such a way. “It is a shame for you and for the Georgian nation. How dare a person take a stone and throw it at someone, where is your belief or kindness?” Ilia the Second addressed the congregation. He said that the homeland is behind each Georgian and people should not do what will damage the country. “You can meet, talk, debate, but not beat each other, especially throw stones and threaten each other with weapons,” the Patriarch said, underscoring that the enemy wants to worsen the situation between Georgians. Ilia the Second voiced hope that such things will not happen again.

Grigol Vashadze – The More Russia Thinks that Georgia will never be a NATO Member– The Faster Georgia will join Alliance

“The more Russia thinks that Georgia will never be a NATO member, the faster Georgia will join the alliance,” the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Grigol Vashadze, said in an interview with Ekho Moskvi. “It is notable that Georgia is the only state that took part in all formats of the NATO Chicago summit. If you read the NATO Chicago summit summarizing document regarding Georgia, as well as the appeal to Russia, you’ll see that the majority of our program was achieved during the Chicago summit. We are really close to NATO membership and we’ll enter NATO by all means,” Grigol Vashadze said.

Body of 27-year-old singer cast ashore in Black Sea town Anaklia

Experts have concluded the examination of the body of 27-year-old actor and singer Giorgi Potckhua. The body has been transported to the home of the singer’s family. According to the preliminary reports, the young man had various injuries on his face.

The family members said the young man was murdered. They said the young man was robbed at first and then murdered. The family also said that the murderer has been identified and is being searched for by the police.

The incident took place in the Black Sea town of Anaklia. The body of the 27-year-old singer was cast ashore by the water on Saturday evening. Giorgi Potchkua was in Anaklia with his friends.

Recently, Giorgi Potchkhua was working as the chief director at the Shalva Dadiani theatre in the town of Zugdidi in the Samegrelo region. He also participated in the Geo-Bar live show at Rustavi 2 TV-station.

The young man was also engaged in various events. He had a wife and son.
(Rustavi 2)

Heavy rain inflicts damage on Tbilisi

Tbilisi’s emergency services continue working to eliminate the damage inflicted by the heavy rains that poured down on the Georgian capital on Saturday evening. Isani-Samgori and the Vake-Saburtalo districts were especially affected.

It started raining at 8 p.m. and an extremely large amount of rain fell on the city during over an hour.

Ground floors and the cellars of houses were flooded. The asphalt cover was damaged in the streets. The heavy rains also caused traffic chaos in the city.

Weather forecasters said more rainfall is still expected in Tbilisi until August.
(Rustavi 2)

Saakashvili inspects new hotel in Kazbegi

A new 156-room hotel has opened in the town of Stepantsminda in the Mtskheta-Mtianeti region of northeastern Georgia. President Saakashvili visited the Rooms Kazbegi hotel today.

The hotel, with12 deluxe rooms is distinct with its unique design and wonderful views. The cost of one room is from USD 80-130 per night.

200 people were employed in the construction of the new Georgian brand. 90 people, most of them being locals, are working at the hotel now.

The new complex was constructed with Georgian investments.

A bar, a restaurant, a casino will operate in the hotel. A spa center is expected to open there soon.

This was not the president`s first visit to the hotel. Mikheil Saakashvili visited the Rooms Kazbegi three months ago to inspect the ongoing construction process there.
(Rustavi 2)

Pierr Sarkozy holds concert in Kutaisi, Georgia

Pierr Sarkozy, the son of the former President of France Nikolas Sarkozy is in Georgia. The French DJ performed before locals and guests of Georgia`s second largest city of Kutaisi Saturday night.

Pierr Sakosy also known as DJ Mosey– ascended the scene at the Monplaisir arch together with several Georgian Djs.

This is the first time Pierr Sarkozy has visited Georgia. He chose the reconstructed Kutaisi himself to hold his concert.
(Rustavi 2)