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The News in Brief

Thursday, September 22
CEC to Open 56 Overseas Polling Stations

The Central Election Commission (CEC) will open 56 precincts at Georgia’s diplomatic missions in 48 cities of 41 countries for the October 8 parliamentary elections.

The CEC has not yet released the number of registered overseas voters.

The largest number of polling stations in a single country will be in Greece – three in Athens and three others in the country’s second largest city of Thessaloniki.

There will be three polling stations in Turkey – Ankara, Istanbul and Trabzon; three in Ukraine – two in Kiev, and one in Odessa; three in the United States – two in New York and one in Washington; three in Azerbaijan – all in Baku; two in Germany – in Berlin and Frankfurt am Main; in addition, there will be two polling stations in Spain – Madrid and Barcelona.

There will be one polling station in each of the following cities of 34 countries: Vienna; Minsk; Brussels; Sofia; London; Dublin; Cairo; Tallinn; Tel Aviv; Rome; Ottawa; Nicosia; Vilnius; Riga; Chisinau; The Hague; Copenhagen; Warsaw; Lisbon; Paris; Bratislava; Yerevan; Tashkent; Budapest; Kuwait City; Astana; Stockholm; Bern; Prague; Doha; Oslo; Pretoria; Helsinki, and Beijing.

On top of these 56 overseas precincts, there will be two special polling stations in Afghanistan for the Georgian troops serving with the NATO-led Resolute Support mission – one at Bagram Airbase and another one at Camp Marmal in Mazar-i-Sharif.

The Central Election Commission was initially planning a precinct in Tokyo, but decided not to open the polling station there citing that number of registered overseas voters in the Japanese capital was less than 20, which is the required minimum for a precinct to be opened abroad.

No polling stations have been opened for Georgia’s elections in Russia since the two countries cut diplomatic relations after the 2008 war. (

Georgia’s Constitutional Court has a new judge

Georgia’s Supreme Court has today named a person who will serve as Constitutional Court judge for the next 10 years.

The new judge is Teimuraz Tugushi, current head of the Department of Research and Legal Provision of the Constitutional Court.

The Plenum of the Supreme Court, which consists of 15 members, convened earlier today to either approve or dismiss Tugushi’s candidacy after he was nominated by chairperson of the Supreme Court Nino Gvenetadze.

Today’s meeting was attended by 14 Plenum members and all of them voted in favour of Tugushi.

Tugushi will begin his role as Constitutional Court judge after he takes a special oath. This must happen no later than September 30.

September 30 is the date when the 10-year term of four current Constitutional Court judges will expire. Chairman of the Constitutional Court Giorgi Papuashvili is among those four judges.

Georgia’s Constitutional Court consists of nine judges. Of these three are appointed by the President, three are elected by Parliament and three are appointed by the Supreme Court.

Once nine judges are selected they must choose who will be Court Chairperson, two Vice Chairpersons and Secretary of the Constitutional Court.

On September 10 President Giorgi Margvelashvili appointed two Constitutional Court judges. The Supreme Court announced its first bid today. Parliament has not yet elected any judges to fill the Parliament’s quota. (

Military police was full of video materials showing private lives - Irakli Alasania

“When we started the de-politicization of the military police at the Ministry of Defence, we encountered a very bad situation there,” the Free Democrats' leader Irakli Alasania said on TV Pirveli.

According to Alasania, video materials showing details of personal lives were stored at the Defense Ministry too, and they were immediately sent to the Prosecutor's Office. However, he said none of these cases have been investigated so far.

''When we started the de-politicization of the military police at the Ministry of Defence, we encountered a very bad situation there. The military police archives were full of video materials showing details of private lives. I immediately sent them to the Prosecutor's Office, but none of these cases has been investigated. I and the majority of the public are waiting to receive a response about who distributed these terrible recordings.

“It is clear that the government is responsible for this, and certain individuals should be identified and punished in order to prevent similar things in the future,” he said.

The Free Democrats' leader said he had not watched the videos, as he believes that he has no right to do so. (IPN)

Opposition journalist flees Russia, settles in Georgia

Russian opposition journalist published a video on Tuesday stating he has to leave Russia and settle in Georgia ‘for some time’.

Alexander “Sasha” Sotnik is a Russian journalist and blogger who runs a small independent media outlet, Sotnik TV. He has been harshly criticizing the Kremlin and the rule of President Vladimir Putin.

“If you watch this video, it means that I’ve left Russia,” says Sasha Sotnik in a 2.5 minute-long video. “This is not an emigration; this is forced evacuation for some time.”

He says that an unknown person constantly haunts and threatens him with physical violence unless he leaves the country, and sees here an invisible hand of “Gepukha”, a moniker for the KGB by Soviet dissenters. He says this person warned him to leave Russia by October, otherwise 'there would be dire physical consequences'.

Many contemporary critics of Putin’s Russia use this term to refer to modern Russian intelligence agencies, such as the FSB or the GRU.

“I’ve left for Georgia and will live here for some time,” Sotnik says. “But, not so dear Gepukha, please don’t rejoice, as my staff at Sotnik TV are staying (in Russia) and will carry on their activities.” (df WATCH)