The News in Brief

Two Georgian citizens released from Tskhinvali remand center

Two residents of the Atotsi village have been released from the Tskhinvali remand center after several days of detention.

They were detained on November 19 near the village.

The so-called court of self-recognized South Ossetia sentenced them to 2000 Russian ruble fine. Their relatives paid the fine and they were released. (IPN)

GDDG to Name Davit Gabaidze as New Chair of Supreme Council of Adjara

President Giorgi Margvelashvili will convene an inaugural session of the newly-elected Supreme Council of Adjara on November 28, the President’s office said on Tuesday.

The GDDG party told Civil.ge that Davit Gabaidze, number two on the party list, will be named as the new chairman of Adjara’s legislative body.

Before becoming a member of the Supreme Council of Adjara, Gabaidze was the head of Legal and Human Resource Management Department in Adjara’s government.

The Supreme Election Commission summarized on November 17 final results of the first and second rounds of the October elections, according to which GDDG has won the majority and will have 14 lawmakers in the 21-member Supreme Council. The National Movement will have five lawmakers, and Alliance of Patriots and Nino Burjanadze’s Democratic Movement will have one lawmaker each.

Election of a new legislative body in Adjara will lead to formation of a new government. It is unknown whether Zurab Pataradze, who has been leading the Adjarian government since July, will be replaced.

President Margvelashvili will nominate a new head of Adjara’s government to the region’s legislative body for approval within 10 days after its inaugural session. (Civil.ge)

FGM will be ended ‘very soon’ in Georgia, says acting justice minister

A government spokesperson says she had never imagined that female genital mutilation is being practiced in Georgia, and that the practice will be ended very soon.

Three villages in the eastern Kakheti region are maintaining the practice which is considered inhuman and subject to international efforts to end its continued use.

Villagers told a reporter for IWPR about their traditions, a story also carried by DFWatch, and the revelation sparked intense interest and debate in Georgia.

“We want to eliminate this practice from those two or three villages, very rapidly,” acting Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani said Tuesday.

She was offered by Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili to remain in her position in the new government that is in the process of being formed following the October 8 election, and as the rest of the ministers she continues in a caretaker role until a new cabinet has been approved by parliament.

Tsulukiani said that a new passage has been added to the Istanbul Convention on violence against women, by which FGM will become a criminal offense, but parliament will have to ratify the convention for it to have legal force.

“If the parliament supports it, there will be a separate article which will make so-called circumcision of girls a crime,” she said.

After the recent discovery, the Ministry of Internal Affairs began to study the situation, but no investigation has yet been launched. (DF watch)

Investor day in Tbilisi

“We aim to introduce European standards in Georgia and thereby aspire to become more flexible than typical European countries in terms of liberal trade and regulatory burden” stated Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Acting Prime Minister of Georgia, while addressing an audience gathered to celebrate Investor Day on November 22.

In the opinion of the Acting Prime Minister, the main goal of the Government of Georgia is to develop businesses, as the country has all the necessary resources and potential to fully materialize the business opportunities of Georgia.

“As you may well be aware, Georgia concluded an Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union (EU). The Deep and Comprehensive, Free Trade Area is an integral part of it, and offers tremendous opportunities to the country for exporting its output to European markets. Very recently we concluded AAs with member states of the Free Trade Association of Europe. The signing of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with four more countries enabled us to gain additional access to markets with 14 million consumers. Georgia also concluded negotiations on an FTA with China. It will be signed in the near future,” noted Kvirikashvili.

The Acting Prime Minister believes that Georgia is the most open, liberal and free economy in the region, and has a strategically attractive geographical position. Kvirikashvili referred to World Bank indicators, according to which Georgia ranks 16th among 190 countries of the world in terms of Ease of Doing Business, thus progressing by seven positions in contrast with the previous year.

“Annually, reputable international organizations rank Georgia high every time. In line with the Open Governance Matrix, Georgia is one of the key reformers with a business environment, judiciary, rule of law, fights against violence, stability and degree of regulations keep advancing in a sound and sustainable manner. According to the Fraser Institute, Georgia is among the Top Five countries of the world with the Highest Degree of Economic Freedom. This is truly remarkable,” added PM Kvirikashvili.

The Acting Prime Minister exposed the event participants to the Four Point Plan of the Reform Agenda of the Government of Georgia.

Investor Day, which was organized by the BGEO Investment Group, aims to attract direct foreign investments (FDI) to Georgia. (Government.gov.ge)

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