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The News in Brief

Thursday, May 5
Georgia Votes Against Kosovo’s UEFA Membership

Georgia was among 24 members of the UEFA which voted against Kosovo’s membership in European football’s governing body.

Kosovo became the 55th member of UEFA after 28 members of the governing body voted in favour of its membership at a congress in Budapest on May 3.

“We did not support [their membership] because of foreign policy reasons,” the President of the Georgian Football Federation, Levan Kobiashvili, told Rustavi 2 TV via phone from Budapest.

Georgia, which has two breakaway regions of its own, does not recognize Kosovo’s independence. (

Georgian Parliament to discuss constitutional ban on same-sex marriage

A public discussion about amending the constitution to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman is over, and Parliament will start discussing the bill next week.

The amendment will define marriage as a voluntary union of a man and a woman. In its current form, the Constitution does not specify the gender of the spouses.

The draft bill currently has to go through committee hearings, after which Parliament will consider whether to approve it or not.

MP Eka Beselia from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition said that Parliament will begin to discuss the bill next week.

She is one of the MPs who supports the amendment, however opinions vary on the issue even among members of the parliamentary majority.

“If anyone won’t vote for the constitutional amendment bill about the definition of marriage as a voluntary union of a woman and a man, they will have to explain to the voters why they didn’t support it,” Eka Beselia said on Tuesday.

She said that public discussions all over Georgia showed that people support the formulation defining ‘spouses’ as a man and a woman. She added that the human rights committee in Parliament, which she chairs, will discuss the bill on Thursday and she is confident that the committee will vote for it, as the bill is the committee’s own initiative. She hopes that parliament will approve the bill.

However, Levan Berdzenishvili from the Republican Party - which still is a member of the ruling coalition but plans to run independently in the election - is confident that the constitutional amendment will not be passed.

He said on Tuesday that the marriage issue is ‘bogus’ and the Republican Party believes that the current definitions of marriage in the Civil Code and the Constitution are more than enough.

“If anyone is obsessed to do it, very well, let them bring enough people necessary for voting and let them vote. We don’t mind. We are just saying that the nuclear family has enough protection by the Constitution and laws,” he said, adding that the majority of the Republican Party won’t support the draft, but there are some members of its faction who may vote for it.

Beselia thinks that it will be challenging for politicians to object to the draft bill because of the upcoming parliamentary election. She thinks politicians will have to explain to voters why they didn’t vote for the ‘important initiative’ supported by the population, which is ‘valuable for the identity and traditions’ of the country.

There are some supporters of the bill among the opposition, like the Free Democrats, but the United National Movement party is not supporting the initiative.

A total of 113 votes are necessary to pass a constitutional amendment. The ruling GD coalition may find it hard to garner that many votes. (DFwatch)

Largest donation in April received by Patriotic Alliance

In April, political parties received a total of 604 747 GEL as donations.

According to the Financial Monitoring Service, last month, the largest donation - 268 500 GEL - was received by the Patriotic Alliance, which is followed by the Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia with 149 020 GEL. The third place was taken by new political party “Girchi” (pine cone) with 124, 000 GEL.

Results of other parties are as follows: The Union for Happy Georgia - 46 939 GEL, Christian-Conservative Party - 9 000 GEL, Georgia for Peace - 3 173 GEL, Free Georgia - 1 364 GEL, Republican Party of Georgia - 1 131 GEL, United National Movement - 900 GEL, Democratic Movement - United Georgia - 600 GEL and Conservative party - 120 GEL.

It should be noted that the largest donor of the Patriotic Alliance is its member Manuchar Machaidze. The member of City Assembly donated 60 000 in April. (IPN)