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The News in Brief

Wednesday, June 11
Turkish Ambassador provides explanation about Turkish delegation’s visit to Abkhazia

The Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Davit Jalagania met the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Turkey to Georgia, Zeki Levent Gumrukcu yesterday. The two discussed a wide range of issues during the meeting, which was held by the initiative of the Georgian side.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister expressed his Government's displeasure and protest at the visit of a delegation of the Turkish parliamentarians to the occupied region of Abkhazia on the 6th of June 2014. Jalaghania expressed his hope that such events, which undermine the close partner relations between Georgia and Turkey, will not be repeated in the future.

The Turkish Ambassador to Georgia reaffirmed his Government's support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Gumrukcu, also, underlined the fact that Turkey continues to follow the policy of not recognizing the so-called "independence" of Georgia's occupied regions.

As for the illegal journey to one of Georgia's occupied regions, the Turkish Ambassador stated that his government will maintain constant dialogue with the Georgian government and that his government will provide the population with the information on the policy of not recognizing the so-called "independence" of Georgia's occupied regions; and liability mechanisms under the legislation of Georgia. (IPN)

Millions prepare to vote in Georgia’s municipal elections 2014

Almost 3.5 million voters are eligible to have their say in the June 15, 2014 municipal elections in Georgia. Today Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) released information stating 3,429,748 people across the country were registered to vote in the Elections of Representative and Executive Bodies of Local Municipalities.

Earlier this month the figure stood at 3,501,198 when the State Services Development Agency sent the election database to CEC however the official figure dropped by 43,024 after CEC thoroughly scrutinized the election database and removed some names.

CEC speaker Eka Abramashvili said the second stage of distribution of voter cards launched on June 9.

"The voter cards will be distributed by election commission members. The cards detail information about voter stations,” Arazashvili said.

Voters who are unable to visit the polling station on Election Day (June 15) because of health reasons or other matters, must contact the district voting station by 6pm on June 12.

In addition, if voters have any issue or concern related to the June 15 election, the CEC advised them to call the CEC contact centre on (995 32) 2 51 00 51.

On a different note, CEC said less people were eligible to vote in this year’s municipal elections than last year’s Presidential election (3,537,719) and the 2012 Parliamentary election (3,613,851). (

Vladimir Markin changed his statement

Georgia`s former president Mikheil Saakashvili had just recorded a comment about the statement of the Russia`s Investigation Committee regarding the possibility to declare Saakashvili wanted internationally, when the representative of the same commission made definitions on his earlier statement. Saakashvili said that the intention of the Russian government to declare him internationally wanted was just a sign of their weakness, while Markin denied this possibility saying at least the immunity of the former state official would protect Saakashvili from such a `prospective`.

He also said that other former senior officials, like Davit Kezerashvili or Vano Merabishvili, might be declared wanted by Russia, who according to the committee, are responsible for the developments in South Ossetia in 2008. (Rustavi 2)

Seven people were injured in a fire in a coal mine in Tkibuli on Monday. Two of them are seriously injured

According to Tamaz Dolaberidze, head of the Metallurgy and Mining Industry Worker’s Trade Unions, coal caught fire at about 18:00 on Monday in the third industrial district in the Mindeli Mine in Tkibuli, a town in western Georgia.

The seven injured were in this district when the fire spread. One of the workers was hit by an explosion and received facial injuries.

About an hour later, methane gas ignited and the rest of the six workers were burned in the face and hands. Some of them were taken to Tbilisi for medical treatment.

“At this stage, I can’t say why there was a fire and whether it was possible to avoid what happened,” Dolaberidze told DF Watch.

The injured are Gocha Kublashvili, 49, Tamaz Putkaradze, 50, Tamaz Gabelashvili, 61, Gia Katamadze, 45, and Bezhan Chumburidze, 60, Vazha Kirkitadze, 58, and Malkhaz Bochorishvili, 48.

Chumburidze, head of the district where the workers were during the incident, has more difficult injures, while Bochorishvili a mine rescue worker, has difficult facial injuries. (DF watch)

There is nothing new and alarming in the U.S. Embassy’s statement

According to Minister of Justice of Georgia Tea Tsulukiani, “there is nothing new and alarming in the U.S. Embassy’s statement.”

“I want to say that we discussed these topics and issues before the U.S. Embassy’s statement. Therefore, there is nothing new and alarming in this statement for me. We discussed the facts of pressure on the United National Movement candidates about 10 days ago. We have sent several cases to the prosecutor’s office, up to 100 witnesses have been questioned and investigation is underway into four cases of possible pressure. The investigation should determine the truth. We made this statement before the U.S. Embassy’s announcement,” Tsulukiani said on Tuesday.

On June 8, the U.S. Embassy to Georgia released a statement on upcoming local government elections in Georgia.

“We are increasingly concerned about reports of campaign incidents and allegations of government pressure on candidates to withdraw and of opposition aggression toward election officials in certain specific locations prior to the June 15 municipal elections. We call on the authorities to objectively investigate these allegations and take steps, both technically and politically, to ensure that the high standards recognized by the international community in the last two elections are met in these upcoming elections. It is important for the government, each and every party, and every electoral district to play their part in consolidating the highest standards of democracy in this region”, the statement says. (