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The News in Brief

Wednesday, September 4
CEC rejects Zourabichvili's bid for presidential candidate

The Georgian Central Election Commission (CEC) refused to register Salome Zourabichvili as a presidential candidate. The CEC reports that according to the 11th subtitle of Article 29-e of the state constitution, “a citizen of Georgia holding other citizenship at the same time cannot become the president, prime minister or the chairperson of parliament of Georgia.” (IPN)

Cyclone approaches Georgia

The weather is expected to deteriorate in Georgia on September 4. The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection and Regional Development and Infrastructure released a joint statement warning all the municipalities to take precautions.

On September 4, a cyclone from the Baltic Sea will approach the Black Sea near Georgian territory. The weather will last until September 5 and will be accompanied by strong winds, a drop in temperature, and rainfall in Western Georgia. It could also cause flooding in some rivers and landslides. The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure warned that all the municipalities to take safety measures, and to mobilize local resources to tackle the inclement weather. (IPN)

Pensions increase in Georgia from September 2013

Pensions have been increased from 125 GEL to 150 GEL in Georgia starting September 1st - Minister of Labour, Health and Social Care of Georgia, Davit Sergeenko, said at a briefing, where he reported in details the growth of pensions according to the several groups including the victims of political repression and disabled people of various categories. In general, the growth has been carried out at 20 to 50%. (Rustavi 2)

Private videos to be destroyed on September 5

Several private videos will be destroyed on September 5th at 15:00 o’clock. Eight of the nine members of the special commission voted for the decision. Kakha Kakhiashvili was the only one who voted against. He thinks the videos should be archived as they can be significant for investigation. The length of the videos in total is 181 hours and 30 minutes. The videos were found in the MIA archive after the change of government in Georgia and since then the controversy about their destruction was underway. The destruction will take place at the Moduli office of the interior ministry. Along with the members of the commission, the representatives of the ministries of justice and interior and journalists will also observing the process. (Rustavi 2)

Georgia opens parliament’s autumn session

The autumn session of the country's parliament began its work on Tuesday.

According to the parliamentary procedure, the autumn session will be officially opened on the first Tuesday of September with a bureau meeting. Presumably, the parliament's plenary meetings will begin from September 4, MP Irina Imerlishvili said.

"The bureau will work out the agenda. The review of draft amendments to the Constitution is complete. We presume that we will submit these projects for consideration at the first two meetings. These are three different amendments. One of them is related to the issue of citizenship, the second is the restriction of the Prime Minister's power and the third - the revision of a quorum while adopting the Constitution," Imerlishvili said. (Trend)

Georgia, Russia to hold talks in mid-September

Georgian Prime Minister's Special Representative for Relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, will meet with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Grigory Karasin, in Prague in mid-September, Abashidze said on Monday. According to him, the solution of the issues put forward at the beginning of the dialogue has almost come to an end. "The issue of including our transport companies into international transportation has also been solved, which was very hard. This helps to make it both easier and cheaper for our products to enter the Russian market. An increase in the number of Russian tourists this year is the positive result of our dialogue. We have to wait for the simplification of the visa regime for the particular category of Georgian citizens. This will help to establish better relations," Abashidze said.

According to him, the establishment of relations with Russia is a long process. "Naturally, we are very concerned with the events happening near the administrative borders, which were inherited from the previous government and which are the results of the war of 2008. I believe that gradually we will settle this issue. The process of establishing relations with Russia will be hard and long, but the decrease in tension and the possibility of an armed conflict, as well as a decrease of violence will positively affect both the internal situation in the country and Georgia's international affairs," Abashidze said. (Trend)

Lawyer says Merabishvili has health problems

Attorney of the secretary general of the United National Movement (UNM), Vano Merabishvili, says the health of the defendant has deteriorated. Giorgi Chiviashvili said the medical personnel of the prison, where Merabishvili is being held, provided a medical examination of the inmate. However, it was insufficient and it was obvious that Merabishvili has serious health problems.

Chiviashvili called on penitentiary officials to allow Merabishvili`s family members to organize the visit of their family doctor or to transfer him to a public hospital.

UNM leaders have also complained about the failure of Merabishvili`s family to provide adequate medical assistance to him. In response to the complaints, the Ministry of Probation and Legal Assistance published a statement which says that Merabishvili was provided with perfect and complete medical service and assistance and the lawyers could apply to the administration of the penitentiary department before making public statement in this regards. (Rustavi 2)