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…]
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has met with two of the leading figures in anti-government protests currently being held in Tbilisi. Kvirikashvili met separately with the parents of Davit Saralidze — one of the teenagers killed in a school brawl last December — and Malkhaz Machalikashvili, the father of a 19-year-old boy killed by security forces in Pankisi.
The opposition United National Movement Party (UNM), as well as two other minor parties, has announced they are officially joining anti-government protests currently taking place in Tbilisi. UNM MP Nika Melia addressed crowds gathered outside parliament after meeting with protest leaders and said the protests would resume on Sunday at 18:00 where they will announce a plan for how to continue [Read more…]
The US Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, has suggested Georgia should ‘of course […] have contacts with civil authorities’ in Abkhazia, and possibly in South Ossetia. He supported Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s appeal to Russia to improve relations and calling for ‘direct dialogue with the Abkhazians and the Ossetians’. Kvirikashvili has come under intense criticism from the opposition since making the appeal last week.
One of the outcomes of the stark polarisation of news media globally is that people tend to align to the media outlets which resonate most with their ideological beliefs. In most cases, consumption of a particular ideological media source can only reinforce one’s beliefs, which might lead to an even further polarisation of the audience. These patterns can be characteristic of mass media in contexts as different as, for instance, the United States and Lebanon. As the data from the December 2017 CRRC/NDI survey shows, people in Georgia also appear to place more trust in media that aligns with their political beliefs. [Read more…]
The Grand Chamber of the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Georgian authorities violated two articles of the European Convention on Human Rights in their treatment of former Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili while in detention. However, the court stopped short of ruling that the charges against him were politically motivated, as Merabishvili’s lawyers claimed. [Read more…]
Georgians will head to polls on Saturday to elect 59 municipal and district heads (gamgebeli) and five mayors — in Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Poti, and Rustavi. Voters will also elect 2,058 members of 64 local councils (sakrebulos). Those elected will serve four years in office. [Read more…]
Georgia’s port city of Batumi on the shores of the Black Sea was shaken by spontaneous outrage on 11–12 March. Riots supposedly over the issuing of a parking ticket were rooted in a peculiar mixture of anti-police sentiments, ethno-nationalism, and social exclusion. [Read more…]