GEORGIAN GROCERY STORE TO OPEN IN BELARUS AND TRACTORS TO BE JOINTLY ASSEMBLED IN GEORGIA

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 20 March 2019 17:20

Georgian grocery store will be opened in Belarus and tractors will be assembled at a joint venture that will operate in Georgia. It was announced at a meeting of Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia with Mikhail Rusy, Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus today.

Joint production of elevators for residential blocks is also under consideration, along with a cooperation in the sector of transportation. Namely ferry transfer has a development prospect, along with a transit of cargo originating in Belarus through Ukraine and Georgia. Need of specific steps to be made for the development of logistics was underlined at the meeting. Head of Government of Georgia instructed the cabinet to discuss and agree ways on improving the logistics with the Belarussian colleagues within a Work Group format to significantly increase the bilateral trade.

Belarussian side is also interested in incorporating a joint venture to assemble tractors in Georgia. It was agreed at the meeting today that relevant partners will be solicited with support of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus also expressed readiness to have Belarussian manufacturers bid in tenders announced for the substitution of municipal busses in Tbilisi and Batumi, along with a keen interest in providing elevators with any specific configuration to an interested buyer at the Georgian market.

It was also agreed at the meeting that Belarussian side will work on the allocation of a special place in Minsk for a Georgian grocery store with a concept of AgroHub.

Georgian Defence Forces Lead NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019

Published in military
Monday, 18 March 2019 13:39

A landmark NATO-Georgia exercise began today at a military base near Tbilisi, involving military personnel from 24 Allies, Partner and several NATO command headquarters and affiliated centers. First Deputy Defence Minister of Georgia Lela Chikovani, First Deputy Chief of Defence Forces of Georgia, Colonel Nikoloz Janjghava and Deputy Chief of the NATO Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC), Brigade General Ladislav Jung opened the exercise at “Armyhall”, MoD.

The exercise (Computer Assisted/Command Post Exercise - CAX/CPX), is being held from 18-29 March at the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre (JTEC) at National Centre “Krtsanisi” and involves 343 personnel.

This is the second NATO-Georgia exercise to be held in Georgia through the framework of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, but for the first time in which Georgian General Staff is leading a multinational crisis response exercise. It is also the first exercise which involves NATO planning processes from start to finish.

This exercise is designed to train a Georgian-led multinational brigade headquarters staff to plan, coordinate and execute scenario-based military responses to humanitarian crises. It is also testing the interoperability of Georgian, Allied and Partner Forces, as well as Georgian command and control capabilities, also the ability to adopt a comprehensive approach to a non-article 5 crisis response, involving civil-military cooperation with international organizations and non-governmental organizations.

This is the second NATO-Georgia exercise to take place through the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package (SNGP) framework - a set of 15 defence capacity building Initiatives agreed between Georgia and NATO at the Wales summit in 2014 and Warsaw Summit 2016. The first NATO-Georgia exercise was conducted in 2016 involving NATO allied and partner nations.

The brigade-level exercise is scheduled by NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT), conducted by the Georgian General Staff with the mentoring of NATO LANDCOM, and directed by the NATO-Georgia Joint-Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC) mentored by NATO Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC).

 

This exercise will be comprised of 21 Allied Nations and 3 Partner Nations, including Georgia as the Host Nation (Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, United Kingdom, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Turkey, United States, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Sweden).

Humanitarian bodies like the inter-governmental organizations - International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO, observer) will also be present during the exercise providing direct feedback and mentorship to exercise participants.

Georgia and Republic of Korea Signed Agreement on Economic Cooperation

Published in Economics
Monday, 11 March 2019 15:23

Within the frames of the visit of the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, George Kobulia, to the Republic of Korea, an Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of Georgia on Economic Cooperation was signed. 

The Agreement was signed by the Vice Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, Lee Tae-ho and the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Genadi Arveladze. The Agreement will become effective in 30 days. 

With the Agreement, the Republic of Korea and Georgia agreed to explore the possibility of joint projects in areas of mutual interest, including investment, trade, tourism and industry, and to continue to strengthen economic cooperation, including people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.

Georgia and the Republic of Korea will establish a joint committee to effectively implement the Agreement and to explore ways to increase economic cooperation between the two countries. The Commission will discuss the existing bilateral trade and economic relations and possibilities and opportunities for enhanced cooperation in different sectors.

The Agreement between Georgia and the Republic of Korea is targeted at expanding the economic cooperation between the two countries, including the facilitation of the Korean companies to expand their presence in Georgia.

“This Agreement will be another contributing factor to the growth of the foreign trade turnover and the development of the trade and economic cooperation. It will encourage entrepreneurs in to enter the market and implement new investment projects,” – George Kobulia, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development stated after the signing of the Agreement.

Georgia and the Republic of Korea also agreed to start negotiations on conclusion of the Korea-Georgia Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement at a mutually convenient time.

Georgia to introduce Chinese to schools in 2019-2020

Published in Education
Saturday, 23 February 2019 12:06

The Chinese language will be to be introduced as an elective subject in Georgian schools from 2019-2020. 

Georgia’s Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport says the Chinese language will be the second foreign language in schools that are interested. 

The ministry added that the Chinese language will be taught as a second foreign language from the 5th grade. 

"The Chinese language program has already been developed. As you know, the English language is the first foreign language in our schools, while the Chinese language can be chosen by schools as the second foreign language together with other European languages ," the Ministry reports. 

Several days ago Mikheil Batiashvili, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia and Ambassador of the People's Republic of China Ji Yanchi signed a Memorandum of Understanding aiming at promoting the Chinese language in Georgia. 

The memorandum is based on an agreement signed between Georgia and China in the field of education, which envisages boosting relationship and cooperation between the two countries in all directions of education. It also envisages the development of relations between the educational institutions, exchange of academic staff and creating student exchange programs. 

According to Batiashvili, China is one of the main partner and friend countries of Georgia and cooperation in education and science fields is crucial. 

The minister noted that learning the Chinese language will give the youth new opportunities to implement business projects with Chinese partners. 

 

http://messenger.com.ge/issues/4337_february_20_2019/4337_tea.html?fbclid=IwAR1U3wR27dMWZCkIl4yMV1zAm05eR-l_lNVCYPQmxoIt9B8VDWWxDwuDEVc

EU assists Georgia to facilitate access to justice and increase professionalism of lawyers

Published in Justice
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 10:47

Improved access to legal aid for over 45,000 people every year; training for 2,400 representatives of the legal profession; increased international cooperation in the field of justice – these are just some of the key results achieved by the Legal Aid Service of Georgia and the Georgian Bar Association with assistance from the EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

These and other achievements of the EU4Justice programme between 2016 and 2018 were presented to the public in the country’s capital of Tbilisi on 23 January. 

“I am confident that the EU played an instrumental role in developing both the State Legal Aid Service and the Bar Association in Georgia over last 10 years,” said Catalin German, Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section at the EU Delegation to Georgia. “We have done it through direct transfers of funds into the Georgian state budget, and through different projects.”

The assistance to the Legal Aid Service and Georgian Bar Association is part of a wider EU-funded programme, EU4Justice, which is based on the financing agreement on “Support to the Justice Sector Reform in Georgia”, signed between Georgia and the EU in May 2015.

Salome Zurabishvili officially becomes the fifth president of Georgia

Published in Politics
Sunday, 16 December 2018 20:46

After taking the presidential oath in the historic castle of Telavi Salome Zurabishvili has been sworn in as the fifth and first ever female president of Georgia.

She will hold office for a six-year term.

In her oath, she promised to defend the Georgian constitution, independence and unity, provide for the security of the Georgian people and the prosperity of the entire country.

“I take responsibility to be the president of each citizen of Georgia. I appreciate those who did not vote for me. I am also aware some parties have a different position towards the recognition of my presidency. I will defend the freedom and rights of the citizens, I will be the guarantor of the rule of law. I will be sure to strengthen civil society and improve the political culture. Now, when I am the fifth president of Georgia, I am proud that we have managed to carry out the transfer process peacefully. One more democratic step has been made,” Salome Zurabishvili said at the ceremony which was attended by 150 high level guests from 55 countries.

She has also pledged to do all for Georgia's development and help the country achieve its major goals including Euro-Atlantic integration.
In her speech Salome Zurabishvili has emphasised that every former president has made their contribution to the advancement process of the country.

“Georgia is facing a great challenge now - Abkhazia and South Ossetia are occupied by Russia. There is the occupation line inside the country where our citizens are being kidnapped. This is not acceptable for a sovereign state. We are not going to tolerate this,” President Zurabishvili said.

A number of new regulations, including constitutional amendments, also came into force today.

The constitutional reform carried out in 2017 introduces a new model of government which is characteristic for a parliamentary republic, meaning that the next president will not be elected directly by the people. The new president after Zurabishvili will be elected for a five-year term by a special 300-member council starting in 2024.

President Salome Zurabishvili’s Inauguration Speech

After being sworn-in as Georgia’s fifth President at a ceremony held in the eastern Georgian town of Telavi, Salome Zurabishvili delivered her 25-minute inauguration speech.

Below is the official translation of Zurabishvili’s inauguration speech as provided by her office:

“Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Chairman of Parliament,

Your Holiness, Spiritual Leader of our Nation,

Excellencies and Distinguished guests,

My fellow Georgians, my fellow Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers,

My fellow compatriots living abroad, in particular those who came for this occasion and are here with us today.

I want to take this moment to welcome those who represent the descendants of our first political emigration. It is a powerful symbol that I have become President of Georgia as we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Georgia’s independence.

History’s circle has turned. A descendant of Georgia’s first emigration, forced into exile following the Soviet Red Army’s invasion has returned to this country to be sworn in as commander-in-chief.

As many times throughout its history, Georgia stands at the crossroads. Once again, we are facing great challenges. Telavi, the place we are gathered embodies this country’s history: its battles, its challenges and its achievements. The place I have chosen is somehow regarded as a historical “memory card” for the Georgian Nation. King Erekle fought for our country’s development and unity. He created the modern Georgian army and won numerous battles. He laid the groundwork for the creation of a modern European nation.

But it is also here in Telavi, that King Erekle’s plans to create a modern state, establish new standards and put our country on the path towards Europe, were shattered. It is here in Telavi that the country’s western progress was halted. Georgia’s opportunity to develop as an independent, united and strong country was blocked. Many factors were involved, including foreign interference.

Nevertheless, after restoring independence Georgia resumed its journey towards building a truly European state. We are now in a critical phase of this development.

Standing here in Telavi, our way forward is also clearly visible. Uniting the country, pacifying society, strengthening and establishing our place in Europe – these are our primary goals.

We wasted too many years in political divisions. As President, I will lead by example. I will demonstrate to my fellow citizens that national consensus is of utmost importance for Georgia’s development and unification.

It is not a political coincidence if I decided to take the oath of office in this city. I have decided to address the wider society from the very place where I failed to win a majority of votes in the election runoff.

I am thankful to everyone who trusted me with their vote in the elections.

I am grateful to the “Georgian Dream” party for supporting me as an independent presidential candidate. In doing so, it took a vital democratic step towards a Presidency that strives to stand above the fray of party politics.

I respect voters who did not cast their ballot for me. I am also aware that different parties have taken controversial positions, even regarding my recognition as President.

Regardless, I have a constitutional duty to be the President of all Georgians, to be the President of every citizen of Georgia from this day forward. Inclusiveness is of the main principles of democracy. The modern state is based on the premise that an elected President is duty-bound to serve each and every citizen.

I will do everything in my power to guarantee individual rights and freedoms. I will defend the rule of law. I will strive to strengthen civil society and further improve the country’s political culture.

But we should all work in the same direction. The independent media, the non-governmental sector, and every citizen can and should play a positive role in building a more united country.

Today, I have become the fifth President of Georgia. I am proud that the transition and transfer of power processes were managed in a peaceful and orderly fashion. In this regard, we have taken an additional step in this country’s democratic history.

I want to emphasize that all previous Presidents have made a contribution towards the creation of an independent and democratic Georgia:

One century ago, the leaders of the First Republic adopted a constitution which was regarded as modern and progressive for the time.

President Zviad Gamsakhurdia played the greatest role when he called for a referendum and proclaimed the act restoring Georgia’s independence from the Soviet Union.

Eduard Shevardnadze was the first to initiate the path towards Europe and the Euro-Atlantic space.

Mikheil Saakashvili, during the first stage of his presidency, laid the foundations of numerous significant reforms.

During the presidency of Giorgi Margvelashvili, new steps were taken towards strengthening the democratic process and reinforcing stability.

My promise is to take all necessary steps to make our country’s democratic development and its European future irreversible. Nothing can nor will hinder my determination to achieve these objectives.

The development of a modern state rests upon strong and lively regions. I made a defining decision in this regard. I choose to hold the presidential inauguration, not in the capital of Georgia, but in one of its regions, in the region of Kakheti.

A modern, European country requires the balanced development of the regions and the capital. Throughout our history in fact, Georgia’s provinces were its pillar and underpinned its strength. We should merge this historical experience with the modern European example.

The regions of Georgia have great potential. It is therefore important that we maximize regional opportunities for progress and open up new prospects.

My dream, a dream shared by all Georgians, is that as many people as possible, as many emigrants as possible, will return to their villages, to their abandoned homes.

This is an issue which entails great effort. It is premised on preserving ongoing relationships with those who live in those regions. Just as I am here today, with the people of Telavi, I will come to every region throughout my presidency. I will be with my people.

Georgian society is united around the issue of its European future. By electing me, the Georgian people yet again voted for the European path.

The EU association agreement and visa liberalization have opened up great opportunities for us, and we have solid support from our western friends and partners.

This process should be accelerated. The will of the Georgian people is expressed in the new Constitution: a forward path towards the European Union and NATO. Together with our strategic partners – the United States of America and European nations – I will take this process forward. I will make use of all my experience and contacts in international organizations and the European Union to achieve our common purpose.

We will consistently take active steps to reach those aims. We will deal with internal and external challenges honorably, accomplish reforms important to our country, and consolidate democratic institutions. Our goal is to reinforce our democratic credentials and become an increasingly mature democracy.

We will join Europe. But we must join Europe with our values, our identity and our culture.

We Georgians, with our ancient, rich and unique culture, based on Christianity, can make a contribution to the world. Georgian civilization can and should proudly take its place on the international stage.

The essence of Georgian identity is tolerance. Throughout centuries our tradition has been one of peaceful co-existence with religious and ethnic minorities. Georgia is uniquely known for never having experienced antisemitism. Because we live in a world where tolerance is increasingly challenged, we should strengthen this tradition of tolerance to inspire others. With this in mind, we should make Georgian culture and identity better known.

Culture is what a nation is based on. While our culture provides a strong foundation, it needs to be protected and attended to. Culture will be one of my main priorities. But culture without education is unthinkable. I therefore want to express my deepest respect to all teachers and educators. You are those who raise our children. In other words, you hold our future in your hands.

I will be the first woman president in the history of Georgia.

By electing me as President, we have demonstrated that Georgia is a progressive nation. 100 years ago, in the first elections of democratic Georgia in 1918, women enjoyed equal rights. 5 women were even elected as members of Parliament. These were exceptional achievements even by European standards.

Today, we have broken a new glass ceiling in Georgia’s longstanding history of women’s rights. We have taken another bold step – an example which still stands out as an exception in a world with only 11 sitting women Presidents. By taking this historical decision, we confirm that the role of women in Georgia is expanding. We demonstrate that equality is not a strange word.

Georgia is up against big challenges. Abkhazia and Tskhinvali* are occupied by Russia. The occupation line penetrates deeply into our country’s territory. Our citizens are abducted every day by a foreign power. This is unacceptable for any sovereign state. We will not tolerate this.

People living in these areas need more attention and security. We need to achieve a higher level of security. For this reason, we continue to closely cooperate with our partners and with the European Union’s Monitoring Mission. Cooperation with NATO needs to be increased and strengthened.

Reinforcing security in the Black Sea region is also one of our main priorities and will entail a higher degree of support from our western partners.

I will be actively involved in negotiations with our American and European partners to achieve our long-espoused goals as soon as possible.

Georgia’s defense capability depends on the professionalism of its armed forces, on their operational readiness and on modern equipment. Strong national unity is a political condition for all of the above.

I have the deepest admiration and full confidence in the armed forces of Georgia. I respect our soldiers and veterans. I want you to be sure that I will be fully involved in increasing the defense capabilities of our armed forces. Reinforcing the army and enhancing the defense of our country is my priority.

As Commander-in-chief, I condemn all recent attempts to divide the army on ideological and political grounds. They are totally unacceptable. Such actions damage our country and strengthen our enemy.

I will visit our soldiers in Afghanistan who fight side by side with our foreign partners. They are fighting against global challenges which present a threat to international, regional and national peace and security. Our soldiers fulfill their mission with dignity. Some have paid the heaviest price by giving their life in this battle.

Peace and stability are the main preconditions for the advancement of human society. A peaceful and stable Caucasus is necessary, not only for this region, but for the entire world. Georgia will have to strengthen its position in the Caucasus. We can regain our historical role in this region. We should shoulder our share of this collective responsibility.

As our neighbor in the Caucasus region, Russia has an obligation to fully recognize and implement international law and internationally recognized borders. That is the condition for it to be accepted as a full member of the international community and normalize relations in the region. That is the condition for it to establish equal and peaceful relations with its neighbors.

Georgia is located in a region that offers opportunities to implement interesting economic projects. We have to become the regional center of economic security and stability. To achieve this aim, it falls upon us to make our country even more attractive.

To implement this vision, we will need more initiative and innovation. This is the function and the obligation of our youth towards this country. This presents a positive prospect for the next generation. I am ready to support them fully by helping to attract foreign investment and promote the implementation of new ideas.

Keeping our society together entails solidarity.

Solidarity between generations has been a historical trait of this Nation. It should not be lost.

Social solidarity is a prerequisite of a healthy and stable society. Where there is mutual compassion, assistance, and support, there is stability. And with stability comes opportunities.

Solidarity means that we remember and support those who need to be cared for: vulnerable people, single mothers, people with disabilities.

I will stand with our refugees. I will stand with those families whose children have only heard about their roots from their parents. I know only too well the values that help these families survive – immense patience, steadfastness and hope. This very notion of hope is what binds us together as a society.

I do believe that Georgia will restore its territorial integrity. We have to remember that our fellow citizens are living in occupied territories. It is our duty to find a way forward and strive for reconciliation. We have a long shared history with both Abkhazians and Ossetians. We are relatives. We have families in common. We have no alternative but to find a way forward to help future generations in these regions. Today, as never before, the Abkhazian language and identity need protection.

Our country needs to stabilize and develop. We have strong human resources, economic potential, and a talented new generation. But we have to believe in ourselves and our abilities, and take responsibility for our future. I came to Georgia, I came back to Georgia, because I believed in my country. I believe in it now more than ever. It is our national duty to believe in Georgia’s future: an independent, strong, free, modern, tolerant and European country. That is the future of Georgia!

God Bless Georgia!”

Speech at the Reception of Korea-Georgia Friendship Night 2018

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 05 December 2018 15:37

First of all, congratulations on the election of new president of Georgia.
Thanks to this, I am certain that relationship between Georgia and Korea will achieve development.

Since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and Georgia on December 14, 1992, the bilateral relations of our two countries have been developing smoothly on the basis of the principles of peaceful co-existence.

From the Korean side visited Georgia high level delegations such as, delegation of transportation committee of National Assembly on March, Deputy Minister of Interior and Safety on July for participation on OGP summit Tbilisi, Chief constitutional Judge to Constitutional Court of Georgia.

And from Georgia side visited Korea high delegation such as,
First Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Mikheil Giorgadze on Feburary,
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs George Sharvashidze on March,
Chief of Korea-Georgia Parliamentary Friendship Association Shota Khabareli on September,
Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Grigol Katsia on Global Infrastructure Cooperation Conference,
Member of Parliament Irina Pruidze on OGP Asia-Pacific Conference on October.

This is a good example of that mutual interest between Georgia and Korea is growing, and it gives positive dynamics on development of relationship between two countries.

Even more Korean companies have a strong interest and paying more attention to the Georgian economy because of its great growth potential, which was ranked on 6th position on Doing Business 2018.
The biggest economic project between two countries is Nenskra Hydroplant construction.
With the effort of recently newly appointed president, Mr. Kim Sun Young, K-water signed MOU with Government of Mestia, and is doing its best effort to accelerate the progress of this project

On October this year, KOTRA organized the visit of delegation of small-medium business to Georgia, Tbilisi, and they saw the great potential of Georgian market.

Regarding Tourism sector, many Korean tourists visit Georgia to enjoy its nature, historical and cultural wealth.
On September 2018, the growth of number of Korean tourists compare to same period of last year was 140%, furthermore, until the end of October, almost 13,000 koreans visited Georgia.
Until the end of the last year, this number was 7,200 people, and we can see that almost twice more Koreans visited Georgia already. We can expect much more growth next year.

In the field of Culture, I can see that the popularity of Korean Culture is growing.
On June this year, more than 500 students participated in K-pop Festival,
Also 2 days ago, on 1st of December, there was a Korean Culture Festival in Free University of Tbilisi, where participated many young Georgians, who enjoyed Korean songs and dance.

However in Korea, Georgian Language Lecture is opened at Hankguk University of Foreign Studies thanks to the ambassador Mr. Otar Berdzenishvili.
This is a really good chance to popularize Georgian language and culture.

From Korea will be dispatched qualified Taekwondo master, soon he will come to Georgia.
Georgia has strength on Judo, Basketball, Rugby and achieving great success on international competitions, so I hope that Georgia can this high success also on Taekwondo.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Such partnerships for progress, built over the past 26 years, do not come without effort, or affection.
All our guests present here have made contributions in different categories to the development of the friendly relations between our two countries.

I am very confident that the Republic of Korea will have more and more friends in Georgia and much more Georgian people will devote themselves to the development of the cooperative relations between our two countries.

To the further development of cooperative and friendly relations between Korea and Georgia,
To the good health of all the guests present here tonight,

Thank you!

The Second Round of Election of President of Georgia will be held on November 28

Published in Society
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 09:58

Tomorrow, on November 28, the Second Round of Election of President of Georgia will be held. With regard to the election, today, Ana Mikeladze Spokesperson of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgia held the final news briefing.

3 703 electoral precincts are ready to hold elections, including 55 precincts abroad and 11 precincts established in exceptional cases.

Voters will cast their votes in the Second Round of Presidential Election of Georgia at the same electoral precincts which were opened for the First Round of October 28 Presidential Election where they already participated in the polling.

“It should be underlined that electoral precincts opened abroad tomorrow will work for additional hours and voting procedure will last until 24:00 according to the local time of respective country which will give our fellow citizens more opportunity to use their constitutional right.

In reference to Afghanistan, the Georgian armed forces serving in Afghanistan voted yesterday. Their votes will be counted on November 28th at the CEC after the end of polling in Georgia”, stated Ana Mikeladze.

On November 28, two candidates will participate in the presidential election, namely, №5 Grigol Vashadze and №48 Salome Zourabichvili.

Tomorrow the voter will be given one ballot paper where he/she should mark sequence number of only one desired candidate. In case sequence number of more than one candidate is marked, or all candidates are crossed or no sequence number of any candidate is marked, such ballot papers will be annulled and won’t be deemed as a valid vote. It is noteworthy that the rule to fill in the ballot paper is publicly displayed at all electoral precincts and is available to voters.

“We would like to remind you that voting is secret. Any kind of control over the will of the voter is unacceptable. Herewith, I would like to underline that photo-video recording in the polling booth is forbidden,” noted Spokesperson.

On November 28th, at 08:00 morning all electoral precincts will be ready to serve the voters. Ballot papers are handed out to electoral districts which are printed into Georgian, Armenian, and Azerbaijani languages and trilingual ballot papers (Georgian-Azerbaijani-Armenian) are printed for four precincts. The process of distributing the electoral documentation and relevant materials to precincts is underway.

The total number of voters amounts to 3 528 658 for the November 28 elections.

It is worth mentioning that for November 28 elections are registered and will be monitoring elections up to 17 000 proxies of electoral subjects, more than 48 000 domestic observers and more than 1300 international observers. Up to 2 300 journalists will cover the electoral process.

On November 28, at 20:00, once the polling process is completed vote counting procedures will begin. Following the completion of all official procedures at the polling station, the PEC summary protocols will be sent to relevant District Election Commissions (DECs). DECs through the special program, in earliest possible time, will electronically send summary protocols to the CEC and CEC upon its receipt will gradually upload summary protocols at special website www.results.cec.gov.ge.

It is noteworthy that for ensuring transparency of the electoral processes, the CEC enables every interested person to observe the process of summarizing the preliminary results at the CEC via internet livestream. A 360-degree camera will be used to broadcast the process through CEC official Facebook account, Youtube and CEC official website”.

CEC Call Center - 2 51 00 51 and online chat of the Central Election Commission will operate for 24 hours. Persons with disabilities and ethnic minorities may also enjoy the same services from the CEC Call Center. Citizens may address the CEC and receive any election-related information.

On November 28, Media Center will also operate continuously at the CEC enabling representatives of the media and observer organizations to receive relevant information. The news briefings will be regularly held during the whole day at Media Center.

“We call on voters to actively participate in the elections. We also call on all electoral stakeholders to support the conduct of elections in a calm and accessible environment for everybody and the realization of the free will of the electorate”, stated Ana Mikeladze.

Monitoring rapporteurs condemn ongoing ‘borderisation’ in Georgia

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 09:34

PACE co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Georgia, Kerstin Lundgren (Sweden, ALDE) and Titus Corlatean (Romania, SOC), have condemned the ongoing “borderisation” of the administrative boundary line with South Ossetia by the Russian Federation.

“These illegal actions by the Russian Federation undermine stability in the region and split families and people. We call upon the Russian authorities to cease these actions and to allow free movement of people across the administrative boundary lines with South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” said the co-rapporteurs following a recent visit to Tbilisi.

“We wish to reiterate our strong support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and call upon the Russian Federation to fully respect its membership obligations and accession commitments to the Council of Europe in this regard, as outlined in several Assembly resolutions on the consequences of the war between Russia and Georgia,” added the co-rapporteurs.

PACE to observe the 2nd round of the presidential election in Georgia

Published in Society
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 09:27

Strasbourg, 26.11.2018 – Andrej Hunko (Germany, UEL) and Reina de Bruijn-Wezeman (Netherlands, ALDE), members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), will travel to Georgia from 27 to 29 November to observe the conduct of the second round of the presidential election, alongside observers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, European Parliament and OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).

They are due to meet the two candidates, the Central Election Commission, and representatives of the media, before observing the ballot on Wednesday 28 November.

A joint press conference is scheduled on Thursday 29 November at 2.30 p.m. at the Biltmore Hotel, Grand Royal Ballroom, 29 Rustaveli Ave, Tbilisi.

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