The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Wednesday, August 10
Georgia’s first medal at Rio Olympic Games: Judoka Lasha Shavdatuashvili wins bronze

Georgia has claimed its first medal at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Georgian judoka Lasha Shavdatuashvili defeated European Champion Sagi Muki of Israel overnight in the bronze medal match.

Shavdatuashvili, 24, was competing in the men’s 73kg category.

Earlier on August 8 Shavdatuashvili defeated Russia’s Denis Yartsev in his Olympic campaign.

The match was intense and emotional but Shavdatuashvili overcame his opponent and several times slammed Yartsev to the mat. The fight ended in a convincing win to Shavdatuashvili.

Shavdatuashvili’s victory came on the eighth anniversary of the start of the five-day Russia-Georgia August War in 2008

Moments after his win in recognition of the symbolic day, the Georgian athlete emotionally grasped the Georgian flag embroidered on his uniform and then pointed to the sky in prayer, as Yartsev lay on the mat, looking defeated.

Meanwhile after beating Yartsev, Shavdatuashvili challenged the Israeli judoka in the bronze medal final.

The fight balanced heavily in Georgia’s favour with Shavdatuashvili ending the match with an ippon - the highest possible score in judo. Muki went down and Shavdautashvili won the bronze medal.

This was Shavdatuashvili’s second Olympic medal.

He previously won a gold medal in the 66kg category judo competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom.

The 24-year-old is a native of Gori, where much of the heavy fighting took place during the August 2008 war.

To make it to the bronze medal match, Shavdatuashvili challenged judoka from Cuba, Sri Lanka, Japan, Australia, Russia, and Israel. (

State Audit Office studies facts of alleged vote-buying

The State Audit Office has started studying information released by the Fair Elections NGO as per which the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Adjara Government granted a newlywed couple with presents, which might contain signs of a crime.

As InterpressNews was told by the Financial Monitoring Service of Political Parties, they have already begun to check the information.

"We will request detailed information from the municipality, after which it will be possible to determine whether there has been violation of the law,” Zurab Aznaurashvili, the head of the Financial Monitoring Service, said.

According to Fair Elections, gifting potential voters by the Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Adjara Government during pre-election period might constitute an administrative violation or even a criminal offence. (IPN)

GDDG Names Majoritarian MP Candidates in Samtskhe-Javakheti Region

The Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia (GDDG) ruling party nominated its majoritarian MP candidates for Samtskhe-Javakheti region’s three single-mandate constituencies on August 7.

GDDG’s majoritarian MP from Borjomi, Gedevan Popkhadze, will run for re-election in the same constituency, which after the recent redistricting also unites Aspindza municipality.

United National Movement (UNM) opposition party’s majoritarian MP in the outgoing Parliament from Aspindza, Tariel Londaridze, is also running in the same constituency uniting Borjomi and Aspindza municipalities.

An election bloc led by the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia named a singer, Zura Khachidze, as its majoritarian MP candidate in Borjomi and Aspindza.

Mayor of Akhaltsikhe Giorgi Kopadze will run as GDDG’s majoritarian MP candidate in a single-mandate constituency covering theAkhaltsikhe and Adigeni municipalities.

UNM MP Vazha Chitashvili is running in the same constituency and an election bloc led by Alliance of Patriots named Goderdzi Kublashvili as its candidate there. Kublashvili and GDDG’s candidate Kopadze were behind an anti-minaret protest in Akhaltsikhe in 2013; a year later Kopadze was elected as Akhaltsikhe mayor.

A long-time lawmaker Enzel Mkoian was nominated by GDDG as its majoritarian MP candidate in a constituency uniting Akhalkalaki and Ninotsminda municipalities. Mkoian, who is an MP since 1999, was re-elected in Ninotsminda district as a majoritarian MP in 2012 elections as a UNM member, but he quit the party shortly after the elections in which the UNM was defeated by the GD coalition.

His competitor from the UNM opposition party will be Arsen Karapetian, the former chief of police of the Ninotsminda municipality.

Apart from the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, the ruling party has so far nominated its majoritarian MP candidates in the regions of Imereti, Samegrelo, Guria, Shida Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Kvemo Kartli, and Kakheti .It has yet to name the candidates in Tbilisi’s 22 single-mandate constituencies, as well as in the Adjara region and in a constituency uniting Mestia in the Svaneti region and Ambrolauri, Oni, Tsageri and Lentekhi in the Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti region.

The deadline for submitting majoritarian MP candidates to the election commission for registration expires on September 8, one month before the elections.

Georgia has a mixed electoral system in which 73 lawmakers are elected in 73 single-member constituencies, known in Georgia as “majoritarian” mandates (a candidate has to win over 50% of votes in order to be an outright winner otherwise a second round should be held), and rest 77 seats are allocated proportionally under the party-list contest among political parties, which clear a 5% threshold. (