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The News in Brief

Friday, November 2
UNM calls Deputy Minister of the Interior into Question

The political interests of several current government officials should be called into question,

UNM representative Zurab Japharidze stated in a press conference on November 1st.

In particular Japharidze claims that Deputy Minister of the Interior Lasha Natsvilishvili held an important position in the Shevardnadze government and his activities were suspicious.

Zurab Japharidze quoted one of Natsvlishvili`s interviews with a Russian newspaper after the 2008 War, when he said that it might have been better if the Russian army occupied Tbilisi too.

`Some of the people appointed as Deputy Ministers of Internal Affairs held serious positions during the Shevardnadze government, when organized crime gangs were involved in the work of the government, when drug turnover was officially prohibited but in fact controlled by law enforcement and security structures, when corruption reached incredible scales in budgetary structures and when Georgian public and law enforcement offices were staffed with the officers of the intelligence services of our enemy country." Japharidze said. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian Dream MPs demand investigation of the new parliament building's construction

A group of MPs from the ruling Georgian Dream party claim that the construction of the new parliament building in Kutaisi should be subject to criminal investigation. The MPs say 360 million GEL has already been spent on construction of the new building and 20-30 million GEL will be needed to complete it.

Members of the group have already met with the Minister of Economics and the Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development. However the two ministers abstained from making comments to the media.

Chairperson of the Sector Economy Policy Zurab Tkemaladze believes that the construction process was conducted improperly. The group plans to give recommendations to the parliament speaker to demand a criminal investigation of the project. (Rustavi 2)

Tbilisi City Council to have five new members

The Tbilisi City Council will have five new members by the end of November. New Rights Party member Mamuka Katsitadze, , told InterpressNews that he will replace Davit Saganelidze on the City Council.

The four other new members of the City Council are Giorgi Muskhelishvili, Maka Gvaramia, Gulnara Zumbadze and Kakha Piruashvili who will replace Zurab Abashidze, Viktor Doldize, Tina Khidasheli and Koba Davitashvili, respectively.

In addition, Christian-Democrat Inga Grigolia has already been replaced by Kakha Brokishvili. (IPN)

Statement of the Minister of Education

Minister of Education Giorgi Margvelashvili has made a special statement regarding the enormous number of letters of protest from recently dismissed teachers delivered to the ministry recently. The teachers claim they were fired for political reasons by school directors and ask the Minister to return them to their previous positions.

The Minister called upon all sides to reach agreement and return the dismissed employees to their jobs. He added that in case the two sides fail to agree, a special commission would be formed, which would be in charge of investigating all decisions which were assessed as politically motivated.

`As Minister of Education and Science, I believe that all sides were victims of the authoritarian system of the previous government. Our policy is entirely different from that of the previous government and we do not want to have the educational system divided according to political sympathies. The education system should serve to bring up future generations and this must be done in a healthy environment." Margvelashvili stated. (Rustavi 2)

Poti port workers received our response - Joseph Crowley

Joseph Crowley, the Director General of the Port of Poti, has commented on the strike of Poti port workers. According to Crowley, the strikers have already received a response.

"We understand that employees have grievances, but I don't understand when they say that they have not received answers from us. We promised them last night that salaries will be increased by 40% and contracts will be signed with all of them by January 1st. Our lawyers are working on these issues." Crowley stated.

Approximately 300 workers of the Port of Poti have gone on strike. The strikers have assembled at the entrance of the port. They demand increased pay and improvement of working conditions. ‘The port management promised to increase pay and ensure decent working conditions, but they haven't fulfilled these promises." a statement from the port workers reads. (IPN)