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The News in Brief

Tuesday, January 21
Poti mayor resigns

Poti Mayor David Sarsania has resigned. He gave his statement to the Sakrebulo (city council).

Sarsania resigned due to his transfer to the post of Deputy Governor of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti.

Sarsania was appointed Poti mayor on January 11, 2013. Sakrebulo's vast majority, including members of the United National Movement supported his candidacy.

S. Ossetia's Leader Sacks Government

Leader of breakaway South Ossetia, Leonid Tibilov, dismissed the government on January 20, citing the cabinet’s inefficiency and its failure to tackle economic problems.

“As head of the executive government, I spared no effort to consolidate the government for the purpose of resolving urgent tasks related to the restoration of republic’s economy. But, regrettably, my efforts were not successful,” Tibilov was quoted by the breakaway region’s official news agency, RES.

“Socio-economic conditions of South Ossetia and the tasks we are facing dictate that we need to take decisive measures,” he said, adding that during its tenure for the past year and a half the government failed to introduce a system to efficiently manage the executive branch.

Tibilov also said that the Russian State Audit Agency found last year “serious violations” in the spending of Russian aid.

“Although these [violations] were made in previous years [before the incumbent leadership took office in 2012], the incumbent government took no measures whatsoever to eradicate and prevent causes of [these violations],” he said.

Tibilov also complained that the government was failing to properly execute his instructions and was also failing to have communication with the regions.

“Because of these and number of other serious shortcomings, I have no choice but to dismiss the government,” Tibilov said.

President to submit report to Parliament in early February

The President of Georgia should submit a report to the parliament in early February. The head of state is obliged to present an annual report to the parliament by constitution. The constitution states that the president annually submits a report to parliament about the state of the country's most important issues.

The president arrives at the supreme legislative body on the first day of the spring session according to the constitution.

Parliament opens on the first Tuesday of February. This day is February 4.

In 2012, parliament did not hear any report from the President. President Saakashvili ended his presidential term without presenting a report to the Parliament.

Government Chancellery reform will follow European management model

A shake-up at the Georgian Government Chancellery Department aims to make the organization more aligned with European standards.

The reform process will be managed by the former head of the Service Agency at the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Nino Kobakhidze has been appointed the position of Deputy Head of the Government Chancellery.

According to its press center, the Chancellery should be renamed the Governmental Administration.

"The reorganization of the Chancellery is based on the European open and public model. Important structural reforms will be carried out and this will provide effective monitoring. These changes will boost the establishment of contemporary and European standards of management,” Said the Government Chancellery statement.

54 convicts pardoned by president

The Georgian president pardoned 54 convicts on the Feast Day of Epiphany. The Pardon Commission discussed the cases of 250 convicts and gave their release recommendation to 54 of them. Three of the pardoned convicts were minors and two - were women.

The president’s decree on pardons was sent to the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance yesterday. The pardoned convicts were released from prisons last night.

Military operations discussed at NATO forum

Georgian Armed Forces Chief of General Staff, Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze, is paying a visit to Brussels to attend the NATO Military Committee meeting.

From January 21-23, NATO’s highest military authority will meet in Belgium at the NATO headquarters for its first Chief of Defense session of 2014.

A series of meetings will be led by General Knud Bartels, Chairman of the Military Committee of NATO. Over two days, NATO allies and partners will discuss ongoing operations, transformation process and future plans for strengthening cooperation.

Major-General Kapanadze will participate in a session of ISAF non-NATO contributing nations and will address foreign colleagues with a speech.

A number of Georgian issues will be discussed between the assembly, including NATO-Georgia military cooperation and Georgia’s readiness to support the development of Afghan National Security Forces.

Georgia’s military leader will also attend the NATO and Partners’ Chief of Defense meeting, where plans for future NATO-led mission will be discussed.

Employee of President’s Administration attacked in Turkey

Sofo Jajanashvili, an employee of the President’s Administration, has been attacked in Turkey.

Sofo Jajanashvili confirmed the above-mentioned information in talks with InterpressNews.

Jajanashvili is accompanying the Georgian President in Turkey, where he is paying an official visit. Information and photos of the attack were spread by Turkish media.

According to the media, the woman who assaulted Sofo Jajanashvili was in the lobby of Turkey’s Presidential Palace. The stranger had arrived to ask the President of Turkey something. According to the Turkish media, the woman has psychological problems.