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The News in Brief

Friday, April 29
Bill Allowing PM to Run for MP Without Quitting Cabinet Post Passed in First Reading

On Wednesday, Parliament adopted with 77 votes to 21 with the first hearing a legislative amendment that would allow the Prime Minister to run for a seat in Parliament in the upcoming elections without quitting his cabinet post.

The amendment to the election code is designed to allow PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili to lead the party list of MP candidates of Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) ruling party; Kvirikashvili is set to become GDDG’s chairman at the party congress planned for May 14.

Under the existing legislation, the PM and other members of the cabinet have to resign in case of running for parliament.

The bill, sponsored by lawmakers from the GDDG, Conservative and Republican parties, envisages excluding PM from the list of those office holders, who are required to resign next day after being registered as an MP candidate. The bill requires to be passed with two more hearings by the Parliament.

Opposition lawmakers have criticized the proposed bill and claimed it is an attempt by the Georgian Dream coalition to tailor legislation to its political goals.

An explanatory note attached to the proposed bill says that it would not contribute to “stability” if the PM - and consequently the entire cabinet - will have to be replaced shortly before the elections if the head of the government decides to run for Parliament.

According to existing legislation, along with PM and other cabinet members, the list of officials required to step down in case of running for parliament includes the President and his advisors; the cabinet members of autonomous republics; members of the board of the central bank; the head of the state audit agency and his deputies; provincial governors and their deputies; chairpersons of local councils (Sakrebulo); heads (gamgebeli) of local municipalities, mayors; judges; members of the High Council of Justice; the Public Defender and his deputies; military and police officers, as well as officers serving in the State Security Service, Intelligence Service and Special State Protection Service; prosecutors and their deputies, assistants and investigators; head and deputies of public service bureau; members of Georgian National Communications Commission and Georgian National Energy and Water Supply Regulatory Commission. The proposed bill envisages excluding only the PM from this list. (

According to the decision of the Prosecutor, illegally seized real estate, worth more than one million GEL, Will be returned to affected citizens

According to the decision of the Department for Investigation into Crimes Committed throughout the Judicial Process of the Office of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia, illegally seized real estate in Gori, worth 1,254,784.00 will be returned to the affected citizens.

The investigation established that Ilia Kapanadze and his family members owned 99% shares of a joint stock company, which had owned a 2,159 sq. m. plot of land in Gori, with the buildings on it, with a total area of 998.7 sq. m. Also, the mentioned enterprise co-bore a 407 sq. m. plot of land with a building of 874 sq. m. area on it.

In September, 2010, the property of Ilia Kapanadze’s family appeared in the scope of the Prosecution’s interest, as a result of which, the Kapanadze family and their lawyer were questioned several times at the Shida Kartli and Mtskheta-Mtianeti District Office of the Prosecutor in Gori. At each meeting, they were requested to give up the ownership rights and transfer the property to the state free of charge, in order to avoid any 'possible complications'.

As a result of this psychological pressure, on December 21, 2010, the victim Ilia Kapanadze and his family members gifted the real estate with a total value of 1,254,784.00 GEL, owned by a joint stock company, located in Gori, under the agreement for the transfer of their real estate to the state.

However, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, which is the sole authority with the disposition rights of the property, will rule that the real estate be returned to Ilia Kapanadze and his family members. (

The meetings of the German Ambassador in Parliament

The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of German to Georgia, H.E. Bettina Cadenbach held meetings in the Kutaisi Parliament building with various faction chairs. She listened to domestic and foreign policy priorities, processes in Parliament, and details of pre-election preparations.

The Chair of Free Democrats party, Irakli Chikovani introduced the views of his political group and spoke about 2016 parliamentary elections.

The Chair of the National Forum party dubbed the meeting as productive and interesting. Malkhaz Vakhtangishvili stated that the party will hold additional meetings to further develop the projects discussed with Mrs. Cadenbach, including the Georgian and Ossetian joint sports project.

The Ambassador expressed her interest in the initiative and deemed it “unprecedented”. She will introduce the prospect of Ossetians and Georgians competing in sports to the various peace-keeping international missions active in Georgia.

At the meeting with the Chair of Georgian Dream party, Giorgi Volski, the sides discussed ongoing processes in the Parliament and agenda issues. “We discussed Georgia-German relations and issues, concerning foreign and domestic policy. We touched upon current challenges and foreign priorities”, - G. Volski stated. (

Georgian Soldiers Return Home from Afghanistan

Over 150 soldiers from the Georgian Army’s 22nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade returned home on Monday after a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan.

Soldiers of the 22nd Battalion took part in the US-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan’s Parwan Province, providing security at the regional air base.

“This is a regular rotation and we’re welcoming home one company from the 22nd Battalion. The rotation will be over by the end of April. These soldiers successfully carried out their tasks at Bagram Air Base, guarding the security of the facility. Another unit has already taken over responsibility,” Colonel Omar Begoidze said.

The 52nd Battalion of the 5th Infantry Brigade will now take the vacated position, Begoidze said.

Georgia has contributed the second largest number of troops to Afghanistan since 2004, first taking part in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and its follow-up, the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

Georgian troops have participated in patrols, search and rescue missions, and humanitarian assistance programs during their ISAF deployment.

As part of the Resolute Support mission, Georgia’s contingent now focuses on security and Quick Reaction Forces. (