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The News in Brief

Thursday, October 18
President Presents Bidzina Ivanishvili as candidate for Prime Minister

The president of Georgia appointed the leader of the Georgian Dream coalition as the Prime Minister. The President’s spokesperson, Manana Manjgaladze, stated this at a briefing held today. According to her, Bidzina Ivanishvili has 10 days to present the new government and to gain the complete trust of the new parliament. “After the parliamentary elections, we are trying to strictly uphold the Constitution and the legal procedures that serve the establishment of the new parliament and government's work. According to Article 80 of the constitution, the prime minister post is given to the leader of the winning team in the Georgian parliamentary elections, which in this case is Bidzina Ivanishvili. According to the same article of the constitution, the chosen person has 10 days to present the whole government to the newly elected parliament," stated Manana Manjgaladze. (IPN)

Nominated ministers emphasize their priorities

The six minister candidates in the new cabinet, who were nominated by the GD leader and the future Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili on Monday, will visit their future offices to get familiarized with the situation there. In addition, they have already emphasized their priorities and the plans they are going to undertake at the ministries.

Candidate for the minister of finance, Nodar Khaduri, said that communal tariffs in winter will be reduced; as for the budget 2013, it will be drafted according to the program of the Georgian Dream presented prior to the parliamentary elections.

Future health minister Davit Sergienko says his top priority along with the nation-wide insurance will be the employment of the job-seekers.

Davit Narmania, who will be the short-term minister of infrastructure and regional development until the ministry is merged into the ministry of economics, says no mass staff cut is expected in the ministry. Davit Narmania will be the deputy minister of finance after the economic sector of the executive government is reorganized.

Future minister of economics, Giorgi Kvirikashvili says his top task as the minister will be to facilitate the creation of a free market in Georgia. (Rustavi 2)

All Mines and Plants Stop Working in Chiatura

All mines and plants stopped working in Chiatura, Chiatura majoritarian MP candidate of Georgian Dream Malkhaz Tsereteli told InterPressNews. He said the strike will continue and workers have been gathering outside the administration building since morning. Tsereteli reports that all the mines and plants stopped working after an incident occurred near the administration building yesterday. The protesters tried to storm the building and the windows were broken. He said a meeting was held with the company leadership Monday; however, the parties could not reach an agreement. The protesters demanded a 100% increase in salary, though the company offered only a 10% increase. He said the protesters felt they were being were mocked.

Head of the public relations department of Georgian Manganez, Maka Kvaratskhelia, says that the company can’t offer more than a 10% increase in salary now. She says negotiations with the strikers will continue. (IPN)

Institute of resource officers to be abolished

The candidate for the minister of education and science of Georgia plans to revise the institute of resource officers at public schools after assuming the office. Giorgi Margvelashvili says the resource officers represented the mechanism of violence and influence on pupils at schools and therefore, it will no longer exist soon. Margvelashvili met with the soon-to--be director of the National Assessment and Examination Center, Maia Miminoshvili, who was the founder of the center and was dismissed by Saakashvili a few months ago for the "incompatibility of views". Maia Miminoshvili says the center will be separated from the education ministry and will operate as an independent institution under the supervision of prime minister of the government.

Margvelashvili and Miminoshvili planned to meet late on Wednesday to discuss other issues of the reforming of education sector, including the nation-wide entrance exams. (Rustavi 2)

Guram Chalagashvili – It’s Impossible to Change Tariffs

Electricity, natural gas and water tariffs are counted precisely and any kind of changes are impossible at this stage, InterPressNews was told by the Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory commission chairperson Guram Chalagashvili. The tariffs are in compliance with the legislation, they are counted precisely and it’s impossible to make any adjustments now. Change of the tariffs depends on the price the company has to buy at. The company can address us any time demanding review of the tariff, but tariffs would be lower by now if there was such an opportunity. If you look at EU countries, Georgia has the lowest tariffs,” Guram Chalagashvili said. Candidate for Minister of Finance Nodar Khaduri says people will feel a decrease in tariffs on utility bills in winter. “We’ll have to work seriously, as a lot of changes need to be carried out. First of all, this concerns the budget and taxes. We’ll work with relevant services about the tariffs and I’m sure people will feel relief on payments in winter”, Nodar Khaduri said. (IPN)

Telasi staff objects to large-scale staff cut

Dismissed employs of the Telasi power distribution company held a protest rally outside the company`s office objecting to the large-scale staff cut and demanding their jobs back. The protestors told journalists today that the mass staff cuts began in the company after the ex-deputy minister of energy Zurab Arsoshvili came to management. Several protestors submitted a statement at the company`s chancellery yesterday on behalf of 125 sacked employees of the company. The letter is addressed to the manager of Telasi, Ashot Manukyan and it includes the demands of the former employees. (Rustavi 2)