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The News in Brief

Thursday, August 24
Opposition Sets Conditions for Resuming Dialogue on Constitutional Amendments

In response to the Georgian Dream’s proposal for resuming a dialogue on amendments to the constitution, Georgia’s opposition parties urged the government to return to the discussion of those draft constitutional amendments, which envisaged the movement to a fully proportional election system in 2020.

Eleven opposition parties also deemed it important to maintain the rule of direct presidential elections and proposed that the government hold a plebiscite to decide the issue.

“If the Georgian Dream party shares our position, we are ready to enter into dialogue on other issues of constitutional reform,” the opposition parties said in a joint statement released on August 22.

The opposition parties also claimed that the ruling party “tries to imitate achieving a consensus with the opposition,” adding that “reaching an agreement with some parties with small political weight on the issues of election threshold or blocs will fail to meet the minimum standard necessary for achieving a consensus on the constitutional amendments”.

The opposition parties also called on the ruling party “to address the issue of constitutional reform more responsibly”.

The letter, which was addressed to Archil Talakvadze, leader of the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority, has been signed by New Georgia, European Georgia – Movement for Freedom, the United National Movement, the National Democratic Party, the Free Democrats, the State for People Movement, the Republican Party, the Civil Alliance for Freedom, the Georgian Democratic Party, the Georgian Christian-Democratic Party and the Georgian Christian-Conservative Party.

The representatives of both parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition parties participated in a meeting organized by the Georgian Dream faction on August 18 to discuss “all important issues of constitutional reform”.

The Parliament of Georgia adopted the constitutional amendments with its second reading on June 23. The third and the final hearing will be held in autumn 2017.

The opposition has criticized the ruling party for its decision to postpone the introduction of a proportional electoral system to 2024, as well as the decision to ban the creation of political party blocs ahead of elections. (

Bronze medals for Georgia on Wrestling World Championships day 1

Two athletes of Georgia’s national wrestling team collected bronze medals at the World Championships in Paris to kick-start the country’s participation in the tournament on Monday.

RevazNadareishvili and Robert Kobliashvili found their spot on the podium at the event on the first day of competition in the Greco-Roman discipline.

Nadareishvili claimed his 98kg category medal by defeating Uzbekistan’s Rustam Assakalov 3-1.

The Georgian reached the fixture after losing to Armenia’s Artur Aleksanyan 6-2 in the quarterfinal but then taking advantageof the repechage round and defeating Seyedmostafa Salehizadeh of Iran.

Kobliashvili found himself unable to progress past Turkey’s Metehan Basar in the 85kg category and conceded the match with a final score 4-1.

He also claimed a win through the repechage round against Bulgaria’s Nikolay Bayryakov with a score 2-1, before claiming a technical victory in the match for bronze as his opponent Davit Chakvetadze, competing for Russia, forfeited the match due to injury.

Two more Georgian athletes competed at the tournament on Monday, with Mindia Tsulukidze (75kg) winning three consecutive encounters before conceding the quarterfinal and taking seventh position.

Rio Summer Olympic Games bronze-winner Shmagi Bolkvadze suffered a 2-3 defeat in his first fixture at the competition against Iran’s Mohammadali Geraei and was unable to progress through the rounds.

Four more competitors from Georgia, including European Champion Zurab Datunashvili, will go on the mat today in 59kg, 66kg, 80kg and 130kg weight categories today. (

Forest fire in Borjomi Municipality

Georgia Red Cross Society (GRCS) staff members are assessing situation and needs in Borjomi Municipality where at that moment fire is spreading very quickly. GRCS staff members are also presented in the Field Operational Center established by the Emergency Management Agency under the Ministry of Interior of Georgia. GRCS trained and equipped staff and volunteer groups are mobilized to participate in the response activities according to the GRCS role assigned to the National Society in the Civil Security National Plan of Georgia. Besides, GRCS negotiates with donor and partner organizations. GRCS has kindly requested support from Iranian and Turkish Red Crescent Societies to allocate special techniques (helicopter) for liquidation of the forest fire. The Republic of Turkey sent two firefighting helicopters and one firefighting aircraft to the affected area under the coordination of Turkish Red Crescent. (GRCS)