The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Tuesday, April 19
Five-month pre-election campaign is absolutely unacceptable –majority leader

“A 5-month pre-election campaign is absolutely unacceptable for any European state,” parliamentary majority leader Zviad Kvachantiradze said.

"We will be ready for any format. We believe that this period is artificially lengthy. Today we considered European examples, and in general, the European experience shows that 5-month pre-election campaigns are totally unacceptable for European countries. Such a precedent does not exist in Europe. You cannot name a precedent that could be taken as an example. The longest term is a 3-month period," said Kvachantiradze.

The parliamentary majority leader thinks that the Prime Minister and the President will continue to discuss the issue. "We will all obey the law,” he added.

Batumi Muslims continue demanding the right to build a new mosque

On 15 April, after the weekly Friday prayers, Adjaran Muslims organised a peaceful rally demanding a construction permit for a new mosque in Batumi, Batumelebi (‘Batumians’) reported.

The protesters marched to the government building carrying three main demands: allocating land for a construction of a new mosque and issuing a construction permit, resolving the conflict over the boarding school in Kobuleti, and generally protecting Muslim rights.

Representatives of local the Muslim community rallied and demanded the right to construct a new mosque in Februaryand in March this year, as Batumi’s only existing mosque, called Orta Jame, is not large enough, which forces people to pray on the street.

In February, the activists passed over 12 thousand signatures to the hands of Archil Khabadze, head of the Adjaran autonomous government.

“Consultations are ongoing; we’re working on a variety of proposals. The State Agency for Religious Issues, which is a part of the Prime Minister’s office, is actively involved. We will have another meeting with the Prime Minister in this regard. The Prime Minister is interested in everything and is aware what was done during the past three years and what demands the Muslim congregation has had since the 90s. Accordingly, we will make a decision. The letter, which was signed by 12 thousand citizens will be answered. There will be several options available,” Mr Khabadze said.

Georgian weightlifter crowned champion after breaking European record

Georgian weightlifter Lasha Talakhadze has won a gold medal and beaten a continental record in the heavyweight category at the European Weightlifting Championships in Norway yesterday.

Talakhadze’s won the men’s +105kg final event after a strong week competing at the championships, regarded as the most prestigious weightlifting competition in Europe.

Weightlifting experts assessed his win in the final match as "the most outstanding performance of the week”.

Talakhadze was cheered on by a full house of more than 1,000 at the Fordehuset weightlifting arena in Norway as he lifted a European record of 212kg in the snatch – only 2kg short of the world record held by Iran's Behdad Salimikordibiasi.

The 22-year-old, who weighs 157kg, made six good lifts. His total of 463kg was 21kg better than silver medalist Gor Minasyan of Armenia. The bronze medal went to Mart Seim of Estonia.

Earlier this week another Georgian weightlifter won a medal at the same competition. Georgia’s female weightlifter Anastasia Gotfrid won silver after she lifted a total of 249kg – only 1kg less than the gold medalist.

NATO Warsaw summit on July 8-9 to be held at the Polish National Stadium

The NATO Warsaw summit on July 8-9 will be held at the Polish National Stadium, foreign media reports.

According to the Polish Defence Ministry Director-General, the National Stadium will be closed due to preparatory works from May 26 to July 28.

"We have 80 days left to prepare the stadium for 2500 visitors, 1500 journalists and hundreds of security officers, which will have to protect our VIP guests,” he said.