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The News in Brief

Tuesday, October 22
Patriarch calls on Georgian population to take part in presidential election

Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II called on the Georgian population to take part in the October 27 Presidential election. Ilia II said at Svetitskhoveli temple that people must support the candidate who can help Georgia.

“A week ahead of the presidential elections I call on the population to go and vote for the one who can help Georgia,” he said.

Early voting for Georgian troops in Afghanistan

Georgian soldiers deployed in Afghanistan were the first voters to cast ballots in the presidential election, as early voting was held in precincts opened in two bases in Helmand province on Sunday.

Precincts were set-up at Camp Leatherneck and the patrol base Eredvi. In addition, two mobile ballot boxes were arranged to reach Georgian soldiers stationed in two other bases in Helmand province, according to the Georgian Ministry of Defense.

There are about 1,560 Georgian soldiers in the ISAF mission. According to the Georgian MoD, about 1,500 soldiers cast ballots in the early voting on Sunday.

Two Georgian battalions are stationed in Helmand and up to 50 soldiers are deployed in Camp Phoenix in Kabul.

Vote ballots to be printed in 10 printing houses of Tbilisi

The Central Election Commission of Georgia (CEC) has begun to print the vote ballots for the upcoming presidential elections. The ballots will be printed in ten different printing houses of Tbilisi, the list of which has been published on the CEC website.

The CEC is also reporting that eight local non-governmental organizations will be observing the process of ballot printing along with the members of the commission.

The ballots will be also separately printed for ethnic minorities on Armenian and Azeri languages.

The CEC will also print special ballots for the blind both in Braille and otherwise for those voters with sight problems, who cannot read Braille. This project is being implemented in Georgia for the first time.

Free Georgia supports Nino Burjanadze in the presidential election

Kakha Kukava’s Free Georgia party supports Nino Burjanadze in the presidential elections. Supposing that the authorities are trying to help the United National Movement (UNM) candidate to take the second position in the elections the party said in a statement that the opposition parties should support a joint candidate, which will hamper the plans of the GD and the UNM.

According to the surveys, Nino Burjanadze is leading among all opposition candidates. This is why Free Georgia supports her in the presidential election.

We call on our supporters and opposition parties to vote for Nino Burjanadze on October 27, says the statement of the party.

The State Pardon Commission to address the President to pardon more than 150 prisoners

The State Pardon Commission will address the President about pardoning more than 150 prisoners. The Commission issued positive recommendations for more than 150 prisoners, 120 out of which will be released, while the prison terms of the rest will be halved, Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili said after a commission meeting.

According to the Public Defender, the commission tried to avoid issuing positive recommendations for the people convicted of serious crimes. He said several such recommendations were issued, but each case was discussed and voted on individually.

As for the former prison officers accused of prison torture, Nanuashvili said the commission had not discussed their cases.

The Commission meeting lasted for about 7 hours in the president’s residence. More than 400 cases were considered in all.

“Goodbye, Mr. President” campaign to be held in Georgia

The Patriots Movement will hold a campaign “Goodbye, Mr. President” near the presidential residence in Georgia on October 25. According to the organizers, they want to thank Mikheil Saakashvili for all positive things done during his period of office and to demonstrate to the international community that the country's citizens appreciated the progress achieved in Georgia during his presidency. "We will express our gratitude to President Saakashvili for the progress in domestic and foreign policy for nine years of his activity," the organizers added.

The campaign at Avlabari presidential residence is scheduled for 17:00.

Azerbaijan, Georgia sign memorandum covering the action plan for 2014-2016

Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan, Intigam Babayev and Minister of Youth and Sport of Georgia, Levan Kipiani, signed a memorandum covering the action plan for 2014-2016 in Georgian city of Signaghi.

"This document will serve to strengthen relationships and create more opportunities for the participation of youth in projects of the two countries. According to the document, during two years we will attach particular importance to holding various new activities in Azerbaijan and Georgia," Babaev said.

Officials of two the countries have watched the competitions held among the athletes of Azerbaijan and Georgia, folk dances and ate dishes featuring the national cuisine of both countries.

French Actress Fanny Ardant to visit Tbilisi

French actress Fanny Ardant will visit Tbilisi on October 24. Ardant will stay in Georgia for a day and will present her third film Obsessed Rhythms.

The French actress will also hold a press conference and a master class in the Shota Rustaveli Theater. The actress will be hosted by the National Cinema Center of Georgia and the French Institute.