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The News in Brief

Tuesday, April 30
PM discusses upcoming Presidential election

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said he believes that the United National Movement (UNM) will probably not even manage to obtain 10 percent of votes in the upcoming Presidential Election in October 2013. Ivanishvili was speaking to reporters following the April 27th intermediate election, which he said had been a continuation of the October 2012 Parliamentary Election and that the Election Day had been “normal”. Ivanishvili also noted the competition had been especially good in Tbilisi.
(Georgian News TV)

Meeting at the Ministry of IDPs

On April 22, CiDA and CARE International organized a meeting between IDPs and Merab Menabde, Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia.

The meeting focused on the analysis of the problems raised by the IDP settlements in the focus groups. CiDA Advocacy Manager, Juba Maruashvili, briefed the meeting on the problems IDPs are facing currently. One of the key problems was gas debts. As acting Deputy Head of the IDP Issues Department, Murad Ablotia said, the Ministry has made a decision according to which gas debts will be fully covered for the IDPs living in the settlements. As for the electricity payment, they are working to postpone the date of the payment in order to coincide this date to the date of getting social assistance.

At the end of the meeting, ministry officials and representatives of CiDA and CARE, along with the IDPs representing the Advocacy Network agreed that such meetings will be held intensively and bit-by-bit, major problems will be decided in favor of IDPs.

The meeting was held as part of the project "Stabilization and Integration of IDPs into Mainstream Georgian Society" (SIIMS), a project that aims to improve the livelihood of the IDPs in the region, as well as creating socio-economic ties between IDPs and local communities.
(The Messenger)

Rustavi Public Council met with local population

As part of the project "Citizens Advocacy Initiative” (CAI), CiDA and the Rustavi Public Council organized a meeting with the local population of Rustavi. The goal of the meeting was to reveal the major problems of the local population of the city, after which, the Public Council will notify ask the local government to address them.

During the meeting, members of the council introduced their goals, tasks and planned activities. Civil society welcomed the initiatives that will be carried out in Rustavi and introduced council members to the most acute problems including planting trees, the arrangement of yards and small stadiums.

Members of the Public Council noted the problems and promised people that they will be presented to local government officials. The Public Council members are going to continue such meetings in other districts of Rustavi as well.

The project "Citizens Advocacy Initiative” (CAI) is supported by the USAID's Democracy and Governance program.
(The Messenger)

President meets with Georgian Diaspora in U.S.

The President of Georgia continues his visit in the United States. In New York, President Saakashvili met with the Georgian Diaspora and spoke about the recent developments in Georgia, including his fears about the possible change in Georgia's foreign policy course. The president expressed his concerns regarding the future of the Batumi Technological University, the building of which will be handed over to other municipal offices instead of the university under the decision of the government. The president answered the questions of the participants of the meetings. Mikheil Saakashvili plans to meet with Georgians living in Washington too.
(Rustavi 2)

Gia Khukhashvili to provide consultations on economic issues to the government

Gia Khukhashvili, the Head of the Development Research Institute, will provide consultations on economic issues to the government. He became a member of the foreign-economic relations working group.

"My goal will be the strengthening of Georgia’s geopolitical functions. I had been assisting the government in this area earlier too, but it caused some agitation to the public," Khukhashvili said.

He said he would not be paid for the consultations.

"I will consult the working group from my current office," Khukhashvili noted.

Zurab Abashidze and Irakli Menagarashvili are also members of the group.

President’s visit to the Parliament is not on the agenda - Pavle Kublashvili

The President’s visit to the Parliament is not on the agenda, opposition MP Pavle Kublashvili told InterpressNews. The president has not delivered an annual speech in the Parliament this year. He delivered the report for the diplomatic corps and media in the Presidential Palace on 8th February.

Military policemen awarded in Defense Ministry

Head of the Military Police Department, Kakhaber Chikhradze, awarded the active and former employees of the department with service medals for their “Participation in the Peacekeeping Operation” at an award ceremony held at the Ministry of Defense. The personnel of the Military Police Department were engaged in the ISAF mission for 6 months. The goal of their presence in Afghanistan was the provision of security measures for the Georgian Army and the prevention of possible criminal offenses.

Pardon commission to discuss cases of 171 convicts for Easter Pardon

The State Pardon Commission will discuss the cases of 171 convicts and the pardoned convicts will be released from prisons by Easter. There are cases of three minors and twelve women in the list presented to the commission. The members of the commission say they will not discuss the cases of persons convicted for grave crimes, including murder and drug dealing. However, the chairperson of the commission does not rule out reviewing the cases of five prisoners convicted for attempted premeditated murder. The injured sides in their cases applied to the commission instead of the convicts.

The commission says the pardoned convicts may be released from prisons by Independence Day. The decision will be taken tomorrow, when the commission holds the next session.
(Rustavi 2)