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The News in Brief

Wednesday, February 25
Lack of Quorum Thwarts Parliament Committee Hearing

The Parliamentary Committee for Legal Affairs failed twice to hold a hearing in Tbilisi on February 23, to agree upon a Supreme Court chairperson nomination due to lack of a quorum.

Last week President Giorgi Margvelashvili named former judge of Supreme Court, Nino Gvenetadze, as a candidate for the post of Supreme Court chairperson to replace Kote Kublashvili, whose ten-year term in office expired on February 23.

Before the nomination goes to plenary session for confirmation, requiring support of at least 76 lawmakers, hearing should be held in the legal affairs committee.

But only six out of 14 committee members showed up at a session in Parliament building in Tbilisi on Monday noon – two short of a quorum.

UNM lawmakers keep boycotting committee hearings held in Tbilisi in protest over partial relocation of Parliament from Kutaisi to Tbilisi.

Two committee members from the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority group were also absent. One of them MP Zakaria Kutsnashvili, who was one of the contenders for nomination on the post of Supreme Court chair, said he has decided not to take part in hearings on this issue because of, what he called, “conflict of interest”; suggesting that because he himself sought, unsuccessfully, the post, it would not be right for him to take part in hearings.

The committee hearing was rescheduled for Monday evening, but after having to wait for about an hour, the Supreme Court chair candidate, and others present in a committee room heard from committee chairman, MP Vakhtang Khmaladze, that he was not able to launch the session as the committee was again lacking quorum.

President’s human rights adviser, Kakha Kozhoridze, who was present in the Parliament, criticized lawmakers, who did not show up, saying that it was “disrespect towards the process.” (

Former water supply company’s financial department head detained

Tamar Pkhovelashvili, the former head of the financial department of the United Water Supply Company of Georgia, has been detained for embezzlement on a massive scale that took place in 2013-2014.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Natia Navrozashvili, head of the monetary and credit department of the United Water Supply Company, was also arrested on the same charges.

Navrozashvili, along with Pkhovelashvili and her husband Zurab Nutsubidze, misappropriated a large amount of money from the United Water Supply Company.

The detainees face from 7 to 11 years of imprisonment if convicted. Investigation continues into the case to reveal other accomplices in the crime as well. (IPN)

Viktor Dolidze may be replaced by Zviad Kvachantiradze

Viktor Dolidze may be replaced by member of the parliamentary majority Zviad Kvachantiradze. As for Giorgi Tsagareishvili, he may be replaced by MP Bidzina Gujabidze.

Chair of the Parliament's European Integration Committee, Viktor Dolidze; Chair of the Parliament's Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee, Giorgi Tsagareishvili and Chair of the Parliament's Budget and Finance Committee, Davit Onoprishvili resigned from their posts on Monday.

Viktor Dolidze, Giorgi Tsagareishvili and Davit Onoprishvili are the members of the Free Democrats. (Frontnews)

United National Movement accuses Tbilisi Mayor of embezzlement

The opposition accused The Mayor`s Office of embezzling money. Members of United National Movement state that in light of the current economic situation, it is not ok to spend large amounts of money on external lighting, machinery procurement and other administrative purposes.

Sevdia Ugrekhelidze stated that the Mayor`s Office has spent nearly 580,000 USD on advertising time.

Representatives of the Mayor’s Office stated that the accusations are groundless. (Rustavi2)

Another Pankisi gorge resident has been killed in Syria

The 25-year-old David Sviakauri was a resident of the village of Khalatsani, Pankisi Gorge. Reportedly, he was killed in one of the combat clashes last night.

The locals, as well as the Deputy Governor of the Akhmeta district Mate Kavtarashvili have also confirmed the incident. According to him, the victim’s family has already been informed about the incident. However, further details as to which city and under what circumstances the young man was killed, are unknown. 10 fighters from the Pankisi Gorge have been killed in clashes in Syria so far. (