The Georgian Orthodox Church has come out against ‘the legalisation’ of drugs in Georgia, saying it is considering denying religious rituals to Orthodox Christians who die of an overdose. In a meeting of the Holy Synod, the Church’s ruling body, they called for harsh sentences for drug dealers, while also advocating treatment for users. [Read more…]
Georgia’s Parliament has approved a ‘temporary cabinet’ led by new Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, voting 99 MPs in favour and 6 against. Before voting, Bakhtadze presented his plans to MPs and faced questions over a large transfer to the now-opposition United National Movement party back in 2012, which may have been illegal, and why he left certain information out of his CV. [Read more…]
The ruling Georgian Dream Party’s candidate for prime minister, Mamuka Bakhtadze, has submitted a list to Parliament for an updated ‘temporary’ cabinet, which he said would be revised after several weeks. The PM-designate also announced that he will cut the number of ministries from 14 to 11. [Read more…]
An Armenian ‘hero’ of the Nagorno-Karabakh war, Republican Party MP Manvel Grigoryan, has been arrested and his son forced to step down as Mayor of Vagharshapat after the authorities say they discovered large quantities of military aid in the former general’s residences. Footage of the search of Grigoryan’s premises, in which his vast wealth was on display, has caused scandal in Armenia. [Read more…]
Witnesses and relatives say that a 30-year-old resident of Ingushetia was beaten and forced to sign a document before being taken into custody. After several days of looking for him, local authorities told the family that the man had been killed. [Read more…]
The ruling Georgian Dream party has nominated acting Finance Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze to become Georgia’s next Prime Minister. At a press briefing on Thursday, the 36-year-old said he would present his plans based on ‘four principles’ in the following days. [Read more…]
Georgia’s State Security Service (SSG) has launched an investigation into Malkhaz Machalikashvili, the father of Temirlan Machalikashvili, a 19-year-old boy killed by security forces in Pankisi in December, after he said he ‘and several hundred others’ had planned to blow themselves up at the SSG offices but changed their minds. Machalikashvili later explained his speech was merely an emotional speech, insisting he would do no harm to Georgian people.
Three men have sewn their lips shut and are on hunger strike in the central Georgian mining town of Chiatura in protest at what they say is ‘police harassment’. Protesters are demanding the resignation of local police officials after an incident on 26 May that resulted in nine arrests.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s resignation over disagreements with party chair Bidzina Ivanishvili highlights once again a lack of transparency and accountability at the top of Georgia’s leadership. If Ivanishvili wishes to continue to exert such political control over the country — a move much of the electorate supports — he should do it in full-view and from a position within the government. Georgia deserves a transparent democratic process and a leader fully accountable to the public, and if Ivanishvili cannot provide this, he should fully resign from politics and leave ruling the country to the professionals. [Read more…]