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The News in Brief

Tuesday, June 17
“We will raise all key issues at the 28th round of the Geneva talks”

The 28th round of the Geneva talks will be held on June 18.

“Representatives of the Abkhazian and Ossetian sides may use the resolution on the status of internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, adopted by the UN General Assembly on June 5, in order to hinder this round, but nevertheless the Georgian side will raise all key issues at the meeting”, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Davit Zalkaliani said on Monday.

Imprisoned candidate of National Movement to take part in second round of elections

In the second round of the governorship elections in Khoni Georgian Dream candidate will be competing against the imprisoned United National Movement candidate.

National Movement candidate Zurab Jibukhaia, which got 42.11% of the vote, is currently in prison.

Former governor of Khoni Zurab Jibukhaia was arrested for illegal deforestation in February 2014.

Georgian Dream candidate Jemal Mebuke got 46.87% of the vote in Khoni.

President Margvelashvili assesses municipal elections

The President of Georgia has addressed the nation and said the country has taken another major step forward after holding peaceful and democratic municipal elections yesterday.

President Giorgi Margvelashvili said the country had positively addressed one more serious challenge by making a step forward towards the country’s further development and success.

"After holding the parliamentary elections in 2012 and Presidential elections of 2013 successfully, through holding peaceful and democratic municipal elections [today], according to international standards we have finished a most important electoral circle and transformed the democratic process in an irreversible tradition," Margvelashvili said in a special statement last evening.

He said he was sure the people of Georgia would soon reap the benefits of the positive results of taking this step towards democracy.

President Margvelashvili congratulated Georgian people on successfully completing the municipal elections and wished unity, peace and wellbeing for the country.

Burjanadze accuses GD of making deal with UNM

The leader of the Nino Burjanadze - United Opposition election bloc, Nino Burjanadze held a briefing shortly after the polling stations were closed, where she reported the details of the incidents, alleged pressure on their candidates and supporters during the process of vote. Burjanadze said the United National Movement and the ruling party had made a deal aiming at final whitewashing of the UNM`s past alleging the both parties stole their votes.

`This is the attempt of the Georgian Dream to finally whitewash the UNM and bury the achievement of the October 1st. This is the result of the joint activities of the Georgian Dream and the UNM,` Nino Burjanadze said.

Abkhazia’s interim rulers plan to block Georgians from voting

The new de facto rulers of Abkhazia are preparing to prevent Georgians with dual citizenship from voting in the election planned for August 24.

“25-26 thousand people are not eligible to vote in the presidential election unless all issues related to gross violations during the issuing of passports are resolved,” said Raul Khajimba, an MP in the de facto parliament last Friday.

By 25-26 thousand people, he meant the ethnic Georgians, mainly in the Gali region.

“These people must continue building the Abkhazian state with us, but their legal status must comply with our legislation,” he added.

Of the Georgian population in the breakaway region, 46,000 were Georgian passports holders until a process to issue them with Abkhazian passports. The so-called passportization process has been controversial among some ethnic Abkhaz, who argued that it threatened national security.

A legal hurdle was made that in order to get Abkhaz passport, a person must document that he or she has renounced the Georgian citizenship. It is also necessary to have lived in Abkhazia for at least five years prior to 1999. This was to prevent returning Georgians from acquiring Abkhazian citizenship. Over two hundred thousand Georgians were forced out of the region in the early 1990s.

But many Georgians kept on to both citizenships, according to International Crisis Group, as the Georgian one makes it possible to travel more easily to Georgia and receive support and services. The Abkhaz passports make it easier to travel to Russia, which has recognized Abkhazia as an independent state.

The only type of dual citizenship allowed is the one where Russian is one of them, which most of the Abkhaz have.
(DF watch)