Rusiko Machaidze

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So far Rusiko Machaidze has created 358 blog entries.

Georgian Dream ramping up for the parliamentary election

By | August 4th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: |

Eka Beselia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–As Bidzina Ivanishvili’s party is ramping up for the 2016 parliamentary election, it is still unknown whether Georgian Dream will run as a coalition, as in previous elections. The political council of Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia […]

EU representative’s car hits and kills 15 year old in Georgia

By | July 28th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A car belonging to the European Union Delegation to Georgia ran into a 15 year old boy on Sunday causing his death. The accident happened 30km away from the capital Tbilisi. An EU delegation spokesperson confirmed to DF Watch […]

Georgian MP confused EBRD with a brothel

By | July 23rd, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: |

Soso Jachvliani. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A member of parliament from the governing coalition on Wednesday defended himself against what he thought was innuendo implying that he had visited a brothel. The speech by Soso Jachvliani, an armwrestler, actor and film director who is also […]

Who wants to use Tbilisi’s Atoneli residence?

By | July 19th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s National Security Council (NSC) has turned down an offer to use the residence on Atoneli Street as office. The residence used to house the U.S. embassy, but was refurbished to be used for the president’s office. This, however, […]

Russia to ease visa rules for Georgians

By | July 17th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Russia promises to ease visa rules for Georgian citizens. The news of this came after talks in Prague between a Georgian and a Russian diplomat. The Abashidze-Karasin talks were launched after Georgian Dream came to power in 2012. […]

Former defense minister charged with appropriation of property

By | July 3rd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: |

Davit Kezerashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Prosecutor  General’s Office on Thursday charged a former defense minister with appropriation of property from private persons during his time in office. The Prosecutor General’s Office said Davit Kezerashvili in August, 2010, […]

Georgia’s National Bank raises refinancing rate to 5.5%

By | July 2nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

(National Bank.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The National Bank of Georgia is increasing the refinancing rate because of an expected increase in inflation, which means that loans for a certain category of clients will get more expensive. The explanation given for the National […]

Thousands of Georgians despair as Greece halts money transfers

By | June 30th, 2015|Categories: News, Society|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The crisis in Greece has also hit hard for as many as 200,000 Georgians who are living and working in the country, and their families back home in Georgia. Money transfers are currently halted, as well as trailer transport. The crisis in Greece […]

Judicial committee joins president in resisting National Bank bill

By | June 26th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

Committee head Vakhtang Khmaladze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian parliament’s judiciary committee agree with the president about a proposed bill to strip away the bank supervisory function from the National Bank, claiming that it violates the constitution. Committee chair Vakhtang Khmaladze said on Friday […]

Georgian president to veto National Bank bill

By | June 25th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–For at least the second time, the situation between the Georgian parliament and the president has become tense. Now the president plans to veto an initiative concerning the president of the National Bank. Since the president and non-governmental […]

Explanations differ about what caused disastrous flood in Tbilisi

By | June 16th, 2015|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: |

(Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The clean-up effort continues after Sunday’s flood, which left at least 17 dead, as attention turns to what might have caused such a disaster. A handful of reasons have been given, which all may be grouped according to political affiliation. Some people blame […]

Four people detained in Georgia for links to ISIS

By | June 16th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

( TBILISI, DFWatch–Four people were detained in Tbilisi and Kakheti, accused of joining the terrorist organization ISIS and recruiting Georgians to fight in Syria. One of the detainees is a local from Pankisi Gorge, father of 9 Ayuf (Gaioz) Borchashvil. The Ministry of Internal Affairs […]

‘We’ll cancel Saakashvili’s citizenship when we want’

By | June 2nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government is not in a hurry to go through with the formal procedures that will strip ex-President Mikheil Saakashvilli of his native citizenship after being appointed governor of Odessa and acquiring Ukrainian citizenship. “Let this issue hang over his head like […]

Saakashvili loses Georgian citizenship to become Odessa governor

By | May 30th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has given up his citizenship of his own country in order to assume the post as governor of Odessa in Ukraine. The former president was appointed head of a reform council in Ukraine earlier this year. […]

Defectors from Saakashvili’s party plan to start new movement

By | May 26th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Mikheil Machavariani (IPN) TBILISI, DFWatch–Four prominent members of Saakashvili’s National Movement who recently left the party are planning to start a new movement. DF Watch spoke with Mikheil Machavariani, who is one of the most high profile members […]

Saakashvili’s National Movement loses four prominent party members

By | May 25th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Pavel Kublashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The party secretary and three prominent members abandoned the National Movement on Monday. There has not yet been official confirmation that the four have left Georgia’s former ruling party, but party members have confirmed it in private […]

Georgia strips bank supervision authority from the National Bank

By | May 23rd, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , |

Roman Gotsiridze from Economic Development Center. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia has decided to strip the National Bank of responsibility for supervising banks and transfer this mechanism to the prime minister. The decision follows months of criticism by the government against the head of the National […]

Public defender demands investigation of ‘selective justice’

By | May 22nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s public defender demands an investigation into ‘selective justice’ toward former government officials, but the government is still not planning to do this. Parliament has now started going through the public defender’s recently published report […]

Georgian government draws up plan for breakup of Interior Ministry

By | May 17th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia has drawn up a plan to split the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) into two units, with counterintelligence kept separately and under parliamentary control. Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced the revived […]

Georgians disappointed with the govt, but don’t trust the opposition

By | May 14th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

If the government can’t acknowledge that their popularity is dropping then we are dealing with an even worse situation, says Tornike Sharashenidze, Professor at GIPA. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgians are disappointed with the government, lack confidence in the opposition and are worried about the situation in the country – these are the main findings of a recent poll published by the National Democratic Institute (NDI). Judging […]

Government reform of Prosecutor General’s Office met with skepticism

By | May 8th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Thea Tsulukiani. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government plans to change the procedure for appointing a chief prosecutor. Instead of letting the prime minister do the selection, parliament will have the power to do this. According to Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani, this will […]

New ministers begin working before approval in parliament

By | May 4th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: |

Tina Khidasheli began work as defense minister Monday, without approval from parliament. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Three new ministers Monday started working, even though they haven’t been approved by parliament yet. Constitutional experts say it is unlikely that they have a right to function as ministers. The three new appointees arrived at their respective […]

Georgia’s defense minister confirms controversial call to predecessor

By | April 2nd, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Mindia Janelidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Defense Minister Mindia Janelidze has confirmed after five months that he talked on the phone with his predecessor Irakli Alasania, who was then visiting France. But he denies what Alasania claims he told him on phone in that conversation. […]

Georgian president rejects Putin’s invitation to May 9 celebration

By | March 30th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president has declined an invitation to participate in the traditional May 9 celebration in Moscow of the 70th anniversary of victory in World War 2. The reason is that Russia signed ‘integration agreements’ with South Ossetia […]

Georgian PM’s visit to Ukraine delayed without explanation

By | March 24th, 2015|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Irakli Garibashvili is preparing a trip to Kiev. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian PM’s visit to Ukraine is being delayed for unknown reasons. Early this year, government members indicated that such a visit would take place soon. Officials only say that they are preparing for the visit, but offer no information […]

Head of Georgia’s National Bank may be impeached for ‘inaction’

By | February 28th, 2015|Categories: Politics|Tags: , |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The president of Georgia’s National Bank may be impeached after former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili on Thursday accused him of inaction in the face of a sudden thirty percent drop in the lari. The National Bank is an independent body whose […]

Georgian lari stabilizes at record low level

By | February 26th, 2015|Categories: Economy|Tags: |

(DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The lari, Georgia’s embattled national currency, showed signs of recovery on Thursday after both the National Bank and the government announced that they are taking measures to stop it from further depreciation. In recent days, the national […]

Discussion: Reasons for instances of religious intolerance

By | September 15th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , |

From left to right: Zaur Khalilov, executive director of Civic Integration Fund, theologian Beka Mindiashvili, and lawyer Giorgi Gotsiridze. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A few days ago, in a town on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, local Orthodox Christians hung a pig’s head on the entrance to a Muslim madrasa school which was to be opened in few days, insulting the religious feelings of Muslims. What are the reasons […]

U.S. to strengthen its military cooperation with Georgia

By | September 12th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , |

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuch Hagel. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The United States is strengthening its military cooperation with Georgia and several non NATO-member states on the background of events in Ukraine. US is a strategic partner of Georgia and supports its North-Atlantic integration, US Secretary […]

Discussion: Youth unemployment in Georgia – causes and solutions

By | September 7th, 2014|Categories: News, Youth|Tags: , |

From left to right: Mariam Gogosashvili, student at GIPA, Temo Kakhidze, student at University of Patriarchate and Elene Beriashvili, student at Tbilisi State University. (Click to watch video.) (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–On September 6, DF Watch organized a discussion about the difficulties youth are having finding employment. We invited students from three different universities to share their views on youth unemployment. They agree that there are problems, […]

German film director Stefan Tolz on living in Georgia

By | August 15th, 2014|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , |

German film director Stefan Tolz. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–“Full Speed Westward” (Vollgas gen Westen) – this is the title of a new movie by German film director Stefan Tolz.  The movie opened in Georgia a few months ago and was well received. It is a documentary about Georgian reality, which shows […]

Cramped student houses in Tbilisi

By | July 22nd, 2014|Categories: News, Youth|Tags: |

In one of the student houses on Kekelidze Street in Tbilisi, thirty students are sharing one bathroom. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–At the end of Kekelidze Street, in Vake, one of Tbilisi’s most prestigious districts, there is a lane with small houses with tiny rooms. Mostly students are living here, usually those who were born outside the capital. They had to come here […]

Georgian president calls ex-ambassador’s death a murder

By | July 16th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Erosi Kitsmarishvili was found dead in his car Tuesday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former candidate for Rustavi mayor Erosi Kitsmarishvili was found dead in his car on Kipshidze Street in a prestigious district of Tbilisi. The car was at an underground parking in the building where he was residing. According to the Interior […]

Many reactions to Shevardnadze’s passing away

By | July 8th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Supporters of Gamsakhurdia protested outside Shevardnadze’s residence. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–As former Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze died on Monday, aged 86, the same day several people organized a demonstration outside his residence in Krtsanisi, Tbilisi, where he lived in his final years. A group of several people […]

Georgian president will not attend signing of EU treaty

By | June 23rd, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili will not be present during the signing of a treaty between Georgia and the EU in Brussels on Friday. TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president, whose authority includes signing international treaties and who delegated the right to sign the Association Agreement with EU to the prime minister, won’t be in the Georgian delegation. Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze […]

Two of Georgian president’s top people left

By | June 14th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , , , |

Vano Machavariani, foreign policy adviser to the Georgian president, left his job Friday. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president’s foreign policy adviser Vano Machavariani left his job on Friday. The head of the president’s administration, Lasha Abashidze, also resigned. Both delivered a written resignation, but Machavariani told […]

One more brutal murder case from 2008 reopened

By | June 12th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

Nino Giorgobiani, spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A few days before the local elections, the Interior Ministry in Georgia has gone public with details of yet one more crime conducted by Saakashvili’s government in which opponents were treated with a brutality reminiscent of Scorsese movies. […]

Saakashvili offers to help Georgian government

By | June 9th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former President Mikheil Saakashvili continues to offer his assistance. On Sunday, after instructing Ukraine’s new president, Petro Poroshenko, to under no circumstance weaken the military operation against pro-Moscow separatists in the east, […]

Georgia doesn’t know what Obama’s military assistance means

By | June 6th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , |

“A historical moment for our country’s relation with NATO,” says Georgia’s Defense Minister Irakli Alasania. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian government is unable to say specifically what Barack Obama’s initiative to boost the military capacity of non-NATO partner countries will mean and how the US will assist Georgia, but they welcome the initiative. Georgia’s defense […]

Continued speculation about who should sign Georgia’s EU treaty

By | May 23rd, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

Georgia’s treaty with the EU will be signed by Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, although he is not head of state. Will that make the treaty invalid? (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–When Georgia signs an association agreement with the European Union in late June, it will be Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili who will do the signing. This is despite it clearly being stated in the constitution that the president is the one who signs […]

Anti-discrimination law needs effective enforcement

By | May 18th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , , , , , |

From left to right: Zviad Devdariani, Giorgi Gotsiridze, Lina Ghvinianidze and Rusiko Machaidze. (Click to watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Representatives of NGOs say a new law recently introduced by Georgia to eliminate all forms of discrimination lacks an enforcement mechanism, and question whether it will be effective. DF Watch recently brought together Lina Ghvinianidze, […]

Surveillance bill review postponed

By | May 17th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Secret surveillance is to be regulated better in Georgia with a new legislative package. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Parliament in Georgia Friday postponed the review of a much-debated bill proposed by civil rights groups aimed at preventing illegal surveillance, a practice still rife in the country. The review was postponed because parliament was unable to reach a quorum. […]

Former Georgian intelligence chief detained in Greece

By | April 27th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

Data Akhalaia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A former head of Georgia’s domestic intelligence service has been detained in Greece as he tried to cross the border into Italy using a fake passport. Data Akhalaia, the former head of the Constitutional Security Department, among Georgians known […]

Politician who was beaten in 2005 holds Saakashvili responsible

By | April 25th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Republican Valeri Gelashvili is convinced his beating in 2005 was ordered by Saakashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation against former Interior Ministry officials Erekle Kodua and Gia Siradze for the beating of MP Valeri Gelashvili in 2005. The Prosecutor’s Office made a statement about this issue on Thursday. […]

Why did Georgia declare a ‘moratorium’ on ex-officials?

By | April 18th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–After the government Monday announced a ‘moratorium’ on prosecuting politicians, the National Movement criticizes it for misleading people by not fulfilling its promise. On Monday, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili in a statement called on […]

What can be done to improve integration of minorities?

By | April 17th, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , |

Van Baiburt (left), Deputy Head of Armenian Union of Georgia, and Manana Nachkebia from the New Rightists Party. (Click on image to watch video.) (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–DFWatch organized a discussion about the problem minorities are experiencing with getting involved in politics and state affairs. A representative of a minority diaspora and a spokesperson for an opposition party participated in our discussion. […]

David Lidington explains the UK’s view on the Ukraine crisis

By | April 12th, 2014|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , , |

David Lidington, Britain’s Minister for Europe. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–We sat down with David Lidington, UK Minister for Europe, who visited on April 1-2, and asked him about Georgia’s association agreement with the EU and whether NATO should set it on course for membership. Is it possible that Russia will bring pressure […]

Saakashvili’s party said to be preparing Kiev style protests

By | April 8th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Interior Minister Aleksandre Chikaidze said the National Movement is preparing for a Kiev-style protest camp in Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Interior Minister says the National Movement is preparing a Euromaidan scenario in Georgia and that he has information that they have already started collecting tires. Interior Minister Alexandre Chikaidze said in an interview with the […]

Discussion: Ethnic minorities and language skills

By | March 31st, 2014|Categories: Minorities, News|Tags: , , |

Agit Mirzoev (left), Executive Director of Analytical Center for Inter-ethnic Cooperation and Consultations, and Ali Babayev, from the Congress of Georgian Azerbaijanis. (DF Watch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Representatives of NGOs working with minority issues took part in a discussion organized by about how ethnic minorities often lack skills in Georgia’s only official language – Georgian. Agit Mirzoev, Executive Director of Analytical […]

Saakashvili offers to give testimony, but only during trial

By | March 30th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Mikheil Saakashvili speaking at Independence Square in Kiev March 29, 2014. (Maestro TV.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Former President Mikheil Saakashvili offers the current government his own rules of the game; rules which are against Georgian legislation. The rules in question are about how to question witnesses in criminal cases. This issue has been a source […]

Zhvania family accuses Saakashvili of lying

By | March 27th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

The brother and widow of deceased Prime Minsiter Zurab Zhvania accused ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili of lying. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The family of former Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania accuses ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili of lying. Saakashvili said in a recent interview on Rustavi 2 that during the investigation of Zhvania’s death, his widow was only interested in money which […]

What did Ivanishvili criticize the Georgian president for?

By | March 20th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , , |

Bidzina Ivanishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili refrained from commenting on criticism from ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili beyond saying it is ‘painful’. In a TV interview, Ivanishvili said Margvelashvili revealed completely different features after the […]

Georgian president visited soldiers in Afghanistan

By | March 18th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , |

President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan. (Photo by Defense Ministry.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has paid a visit to Afghanistan and met with Georgian soldiers participating in the ISAF mission. Supporters of former President Saakashvili have criticized Margvelashvili for not being active, even though […]

NGO founded by former Georgian PM to offer media training

By | March 18th, 2014|Categories: Media, News|Tags: , |

Former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s new organization Citizen is to offer training courses for journalists. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A non-governmental organization founded by former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is to offer training courses for journalists who work for Georgian media outlets. In a statement on Monday, the organization, called Citizen, explained the […]

Georgian president holds first event at disputed residence

By | March 15th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

The president’s residence in Avlabari, Tbilisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–President Giorgi Margvelashvili met with ambassadors at the president’s residence in Tbilisi, which has been nonoperational after Saakashvili left office in October, 2013. In a ceremony in the Avlabari residence, President Margvelashvili received […]

Georgian parliament to consider prosecution of one of their own

By | March 15th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Roland Akhalaia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Prosecutor’s Office in Georgia has asked parliament for its consent to start a criminal prosecution against one  parliamentarian, Roland Akhalaia. Parliament will announce its decision on Monday. MP Roland Akhalaia is father of Data […]

Two former counterintelligence officials arrested in Georgia

By | March 14th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , |

Guram Donadze was also questioned, but said he had nothing to do with the fake video. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Chief Prosecutor in Georgia has ordered the arrest of former officials at the Constitutional Security Department (CSD), after they were questioned about the cases against Bacho and Data Akhalaia. Former CSD head Levan Kardava and Giorgi […]

Campaign asks people to turn off mobile phones in protest

By | March 11th, 2014|Categories: NGO news|Tags: , |

Nino Lomjaria, head of International Society For Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED). (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Several Georgian NGOs that are involved in the campaign ‘This Affects You Too-They Still Listen to Us’ call on citizens to turn off their mobile phones for two hours and protest against the government’s illegal wiretapping. Nino Lomjaria, head […]

Georgian opposition parties call ruling coalition undemocratic

By | March 10th, 2014|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , , , , , , |

Nino Burjanadze, leader of Democratic Movement, is one of the signatories of the statement. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Political parties not represented in parliament accuse the government of making one-sided decisions in relation to the Election Code. The opposition parties accuse the governing Georgian Dream coalition of anti-democratic actions when it last week […]

Georgian Lawyer’s Association chair attacked by rebel members

By | February 28th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , , , |

Zaza Khatiashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In Georgian Lawyer’s Association, some of the members have started procedures to dismiss their chairman. The rebel members claim the reason is that Zaza Khatiashvili is a supporter of the former ruling party, the National Movement, and also that he […]

Georgian president meets locals near contested border

By | February 27th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, Wednesday met people who live close to the de facto border near the town Kareli. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili says he hopes that the barbed wire which Russian soldiers are installing at the so-called border with two breakaway territories will eventually be sent away peacefully as scrap metal. Margvelashvili […]

Georgian gov’t updating legislation ahead of local election

By | February 10th, 2014|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: , , |

Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In a week the government in Georgia will decide whether to follow recommendations and proposals made by the non-parliamentary opposition and non-governmental organizations about amendments to the Election Code. Speaker of Parliament Davit Usupashvili […]

Georgian wine may be marketed at Sochi Olympics

By | February 1st, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian wine may be presented at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Levan Davitashvili, head of the Georgian National Wine Agency, on Friday told journalists that Georgian wine is successfully sold in the Russian market and it is up to distributors […]

What Georgia can expect from the Munich Security Conference

By | January 30th, 2014|Categories: News, Security|Tags: , , |

Photo published on the Munich Security Conference website. TBILISI, DFWatch–When the annual Munich Security Conference opens in a few days, it will be the first time Georgia’s delegation is headed by the prime minister and not the president. The reason for the change is partly that a constitutional amendment came into force […]

Video shows Merabishvili promising reward for ‘two corpses’

By | January 30th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: |

The video shows Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili instructing soldiers after a mutiny at a tank battalion base near Tbilisi in 2009. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There may be added new charges against former Prime Minister and Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, according to the head of parliament’s defense and security committee. Wednesday, a 4-minute long video was posted on Youtube, […]

Georgia listed as world’s fifth best tourism country

By | January 7th, 2014|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Sioni, one of the travel destinations in Georgia. (Photo: Mari Nikuradze.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Rough Guides has listed Georgia as number five among the world’s top countries for tourism. Rough Guide is a travel guidebook owned by Penguin Random House. The publication has selected the best tourist countries for 2014, and Ethiopia is […]

Saakashvili era official charged with Abu Ghraib-style abuse

By | December 27th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Megis Kardava. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A former official in the Saakashvili regime has been charged in a case involving Abu Ghraib-style sexually degrading treatment of detainees. Megis Kardava, who has held several positions at law enforcement bodies in Georgia, has been out of the country […]

What is being discussed at the Geneva talks?

By | December 20th, 2013|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , |

Ketevan Tsikhelashvili is Deputy Minister of Reintegration. TBILISI, DFWatch–The talks between the parties in the 2008 Georgia-Russia war will meet in Geneva for another round of talks on March 25-26. It is known that the OSCE heads of the meeting this time will be from Switzerland. The last round of Geneva talks was held […]

NGOs call for new impact assessment of gigantic power dam

By | December 9th, 2013|Categories: Environment, News|Tags: , |

A gigantic planned hydro power station has brought environmentalists out in the streets in Georgia. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Georgia ask the government for answers about the construction of Khudoni hydro power station. There are many questions regarding environmental and social issues. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and an […]

New Georgian government approved by parliament

By | November 21st, 2013|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. (Photo posted on Facebook.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian president Giorgi Margvelashvili has signed a document which appoints former interior minister Irakli Gharibsahvili as prime minister. The new president also has been asked to sign a document by which parliament declares its trust in the new […]

South Ossetia blocks Georgians from crossing in order to vote

By | October 26th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

New razor wire marks the Russian-imposed border line in Ditsi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The de facto South Ossetian government has imposed restrictions for Georgian citizens along the demarcation line. The Interior Ministry on Saturday issued a statement expressing concern about the de facto government’s decision. The Ministry recalls […]

Georgian candidates confront each other in two TV debates

By | October 19th, 2013|Categories: Elections '12-'13, News|Tags: , , |

National Movement candidate for president, Davit Bakradze. (Channel 1.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s Public Broadcaster October 17 and 18 hosted two TV debates between presidential candidates. Only qualified subjects participated in the debates, those who were presented by the political parties, which receive state funding. There are […]

Saakashvili’s party leaves the inter-agency commission

By | October 14th, 2013|Categories: Elections '12-'13, News|Tags: |

Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The National Movement party has left the inter-agency commission, which controls election processes in the country, as a sign of protest. UNM members claim the commission chairman, Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani, said at a closed session meeting […]

No confirmation of claim Adeishvili is in Hungary

By | October 14th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Zurab Adeishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–It is unknown in Georgia whether former Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili is in Hungary and whether he was appointed as advisor to the Hungarian president. What is known is that Giorgi Sabanadze, the former chairman of Tbilisi Development Fund, […]

Ivanishvili turns down request for Security Council session

By | October 9th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Georgia’s National Security Council. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s prime minister has refused to participate in a session of the country’s National Security Council. In a written statement the PM and the speaker of parliament write that they believe attending the session will be like ‘participation […]

One man is detained for ‘jihad videos’ against Georgia

By | October 2nd, 2013|Categories: News, Security|Tags: |

Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Gharibashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili on Tuesday provided details about a several month long investigation into two jihad videos posted on Youtube a few months ago with threats against Georgian soldiers in Afghanistan. His comments were a response […]

Ivanishvili asks economic experts for advice

By | September 27th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili Wednesday sat down with a group of economic analysts to find out more about how they view the situation. The PM had brought along quotes from newspapers with statements made by the assembled experts to different […]

Georgia’s economy is on the right track, says economy minister

By | September 21st, 2013|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: , |

Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s economy is growing and will grow faster after the presidential election, the country’s economy minister said before the opening of a business forum on Friday. Saakashvili’s party, the National Movement, has frequently criticized the […]

How the role of the president will change in Georgia

By | August 25th, 2013|Categories: Elections '12-'13, News|Tags: |

Power will shift from president to prime minister after October’s election. Pictured: President Mikheil Saakashvili (left), and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. (Photo published on Ivanishvili’s Facebook page.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia will change from a presidential republic into a parliamentary one after the election on October 27. We give you the details. The new president will start fulfilling his duties as soon as he has been sworn in, and after this ceremony, the […]

Georgia’s election system: Improvements and pitfalls

By | August 20th, 2013|Categories: Elections '12-'13, News|Tags: |

From left to right: Levan Natroshvili (TI), Lela Taliauri (GYLA), Irina Imerlishvili, MP, and journalist Rusiko Machaidze. (DFWatch.) TBILISI, DFWatch–DF Watch organized a round table on election issues with representatives of two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and an MP from the ruling Georgian Dream coalition. They discussed amendments to the election legislation and also problems which […]

Why were youth fighting in Georgia’s Pankisi Valley?

By | August 19th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Police cars in Duisi. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A conflict of unknown nature has developed between Kists and local Georgian youth in Pankisi Valley, which lies in the northeast of Georgia, at the foot of the Caucasus mountains. No-one is injured, but the situation is tense and the Interior […]

Saakashvili writes address to Abkhazians on anniversary of war

By | August 15th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–“The war didn’t start between Georgians and Abkhazians – this war was imposed on our people, that’s why we will win together – Georgians and Abkhazians,” President Mikheil Saakashvili said 21 years after the Abkhazian War started. The war […]

Ex minister submits US Justice Department report in own defense

By | August 13th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , |

Police used excessive force on May 26, 2011, according to Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association. TBILISI, DFWatch–The lawyer of the detained former prime minister Vano Merabishvili demands to stop the criminal prosecution against his client, or at least release him on bail, after the publication of a report commissioned by the US Justice Department. […]

Five years since the Russia-Georgia war

By | August 8th, 2013|Categories: News, Security|Tags: |

(Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The situation is still tense in the conflict region five years after the Russia-Georgia war, which resulted in hundreds of deaths and the occupation of two Georgian breakaway territories by Russia. The recent tension was caused by Russian soldiers […]

Stalin statue to be restored at the museum in his hometown

By | August 3rd, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

The statue of Stalin has been stored outdoors in a yard since its dismantling in 2010. (Radio Tavisupleba.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The monument of Stalin, which was removed from the pedestal in the central square in his hometown Gori in 2010, will be restored in the Stalin Museum in the same town. Georgian government officials deny any notion of rehabilitation of Stalin’s […]

New party financing model to include small parties

By | August 2nd, 2013|Categories: Elections '12-'13, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The government in Georgia has presented figures for how political parties are to receive state funding in this year’s election campaign. 2 100 000 lari (USD 1 300 000) will be allocated for the seven parties that are represented in parliament; 1 050 […]

Georgia’s new government criticized for economic policy

By | August 2nd, 2013|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The new government in Georgia is coming under fire for its economic policy. Figures from the National Statistics Department, GeoStat, show that GDP in June was negative -0.8 percent compared to same period last year. President Saakashvili’s party […]

ISFED: No violations so far in Georgia’s election campaign

By | July 23rd, 2013|Categories: Elections '12-'13, News|Tags: , , |

ISFED director Nino Lomjaria said a programme for loans to farmers may resemble voter bribery, as some of the money comes from a fund linked to Prime Minister Ivanishvili. (DFWatch photo.) TBILISI, DFWatch–There has so far not been been observed any violations in the election campaign for the presidential election on October 27. International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), a non-governmental organization which specializes in election […]

UNM lawmaker may face 11 years in jail for ponzi scheme

By | July 12th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , , , |

Rusudan Kervalishvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A former member of parliament from the National Movement and her sister are accused of fraud in connection with a construction company they own and if convicted may face up to 11 years in jail. Thursday they were summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office […]

Georgia’s presidential election to be held October 31

By | July 2nd, 2013|Categories: Elections '12-'13, News|Tags: |

October 31, Georgians will select a successor to current president Mikheil Saakashvili. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president has decided to set October 31, 2013, as the date of the presidential election. A few hours before this became known, October 27 was named as Election Day, but the head of the president’s administration held a briefing to say […]

Comprehensive healthcare program begins in Georgia

By | July 2nd, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Health Minister Davit Sergeenko. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–In Georgia a comprehensive healthcare program began from July 1. Socially vulnerable will get double allowances, and the number of state financed healthcare programs has been increased. It has been a priority of the Georgian Dream coalition to […]

Sixteen convicted of prisoner torture in Georgia

By | June 16th, 2013|Categories: News, Prisoner abuse|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–A court in Tbilisi determined sixteen persons as guilty of torture of prisoners, humiliation and mistreatment, but recognized Vladmier Bedukadze, the person who released the video footage documenting it, as innocent. He was freed from criminal […]

Georgia’s foreign trade turnover fell 4 % Jan-Apr

By | May 27th, 2013|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia’s foreign trade turnover in January-April 2013 fell by 4 percent compared to the same period in 2012. The trade turnover with EU was reduced by 13 percent, while the negative net trade balance with CIS countries went down 57 percent. […]

Georgian Railway director charged with embezzlement of USD 40 mill

By | May 22nd, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–The unit to combat financial fraud in Georgia has charged Irakli Ezugbaia, the former head of Georgian Railway, of appropriation and embezzlement of state money. He is not in Georgia but has been sentenced in absentia to pretrial detention. His […]

Controversial head of party finance watchdog resigns

By | May 9th, 2013|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

Natia Mogeladze has not commented on why she resigned as head of the body that monitors the financing of political parties. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Natia Mogeladze, head of the Financial Monitoring Service for political parties, resigned on Wednesday. According to the State Audit Office, a body subordinate to the Financial Monitoring Service, it was Mogeladze’s own decision to resign. […]

Court reform set to be enforced against Saakashvili’s veto

By | May 2nd, 2013|Categories: Legal reform, News|Tags: |

Deputy Justice Minister Sandro Baramidze, one of the people behind the bill, says it will free the courts from political influence. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Parliament in Georgia has overturned President Saakashvili’s veto against legislative amendments about judicial reform. Those behind the amendments claim that they serve to depolarize the court system. According to the draft, which has been passed […]

Visa rules topic for next Georgia-Russia meeting

By | April 24th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Zurab Abashidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is hoping for an easing of visa rules for those of its citizens who plan to visit Russia. This was one of the things that came out of a phone conversation between the two diplomats who are handling the political contact between […]

Saakashvili’s party urges president to block three bills

By | April 10th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch–President Mikheil Saakashvili’s party members demand that the he uses his right to veto three important drafts which parliament currently is reviewing, one of which has already been passed. The draft bill about court reform was adopted on Thursday. […]

Georgian villagers want to stop land sale to Indians

By | April 5th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Village Ditsi, close to the de facto border with breakaway South Ossetia. (Radio Liberty.) TBILISI, DFWatch–The population in the village Ditsi, which is located close to Georgia’s occupied Tskhinvali region, are protesting against the sale of their land to Indians and refuse to let them cultivate it. Even though the farmers in the village are left without pasture, […]

Saakashvili dragging out approval of ambassadors

By | March 18th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Georgia’s foreign minister Maia Panjikidze. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–President Mikheil Saakashvili has postponed for a month the signing of a document passed by parliament about confirming the country’s new ambassadors. Foreign Affairs Minister Maia Panjikidze claims in an interview with DF Watch that the president […]

Pro-Russia party to be founded by former Georgian minister

By | March 12th, 2013|Categories: Elections '12-'13, News|Tags: , |

Valeri Khaburdzania. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch–A former security minister who was fired by President Mikheil Saakashvili after the Rose Revolution in 2003 is to found a new political party with a pro-Russian orientation. Valeri Khaburdzania, who has lived in Russia for the last two years and just […]

Saakashvili offers opponent to sign common foreign policy statement

By | March 6th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–President Saakashvili offers Prime Minister Ivanishvili to sign a common statement to NATO and the EU confirming their allegiance to a European and Euro-Atlantic political course. A spokesperson for the prime minister told DF Watch that Ivanishvili has […]

Saakashvili refuses to use the security service

By | February 27th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–President Mikheil Saakashvili refuses to use the Special State Protection Service service after bitter negotiations with the government about the size and financing of the unit. Saakashvili said during a press conference on Tuesday evening […]

200 children in Tbilisi suffered food poisoning

By | February 14th, 2013|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch–Nearly 200 children were poisoned at Tbilisi kindergartens in November, 2012. According to the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the reason was bad quality products. Representatives of the National Food Agency say that sanctions have […]

Where did Shashkin earn his fortune?

By | February 6th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

Dimitry Shashkin is returning to Georgia to answer all questions. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch — Ex Defense Minister Dimitry Shashkin lives in the United States in a luxurious $4000/month house and claims to have earned his fortune while working for an American corporation. But what corporation does he mean? The former prison, defense and education […]

Ivanishvili government overhauling election legislation

By | January 25th, 2013|Categories: Elections '12-'13, News|Tags: |

Zakaria Kutsnashvili, member of parliament for Georgian Dream. (Interpressnews.) TBILISI, DFWatch — The new government has started an overhaul of the election legislation. A group in parliament will prepare a draft of amendments, but some experts argue that the non-governmental sector and parties outside parliament should also be involved in the […]

Georgia TV channel hyped crisis over Karabakh comment

By | January 16th, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgian TV channel Rustavi 2 claimed there was a crisis between Georgia and Armenia after the Georgian Foreign Minister was misquoted regarding Nagorno-Karabakh. The comment fell during a visit to Lithuania. Mrs Panjikidze was asked by […]

Georgia received complaint from another country about corruption

By | January 4th, 2013|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , |

Foreign Affairs Minister Maia Panjikidze confirms in an interview with DF Watch that she has received a two page letter from a foreign country complaining about one of its citizens having been subjected to pressure from the previous Georgian government. She said a high […]

Olympic champion’s house riddled with bullets

By | January 3rd, 2013|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — The house of an Olympic champion who represents the Georgian Dream coalition in parliament was riddled with automatic rifle fire the early morning on New Year’s Day. The shooting happened at 1 am on Tuesday in Akhmeta, a town about 150 […]

How Ivanishvili will reform Georgia’s courts

By | January 2nd, 2013|Categories: Interviews|Tags: , |

Deputy Minister of Justice Alexandre Baramidze says that there are many regulations in the current judicial system which contradict the Georgian constitution and international human rights principles. The reform of the court system which the Ministry of Justice has […]

Witness confirms Cartu Bank bankruptcy plot

By | December 28th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

The leader of a business chamber in Georgia says he helped the previous government try to bankrupt Cartu Bank, which was owned by current Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. Giorgi Isakadze, Chair of Georgia’s Small and Medium Enterprises Association, […]

Vera Kobalia questioned about Cartu Bank bankruptcy scheme

By | December 22nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Former Economy Minister Vera Kobalia was Friday evening questioned regarding the bankruptcy of a bank connected to Prime Minister Ivanishvili. Former Justice Minister Zurab Adeisvhili was also called in for questioning in the same case, […]

80 % of Georgians like Ivanishvili

By | December 18th, 2012|Categories: Elections '12-'13, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — 80 percent of the Georgian population likes the new Prime Minister, while only 29 percent likes the president. 63 percent support the Georgian Dream coalition, while 10 percent support the former ruling party. Those are the results of a survey […]

Experts ask for legal reform to improve media freedom

By | December 17th, 2012|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — A handful of media experts are calling for legislative reforms to address problems with media freedom in Georgia, and have prepared a draft bill as a first step. The bill would amend the law on broadcasting, and was presented by its authors […]

Two thirds still without a job in Georgia

By | December 13th, 2012|Categories: Society|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Two thirds still consider themselves unemployed in Georgia, a new survey shows. 67 percent say they are without a job in the latest survey of public attitudes by the National Democratic Institute (NDI). The number has not significantly […]

Interview with Irakli Alasania

By | December 7th, 2012|Categories: Interviews|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgia’s Defense Minister Irakli Alasania sat down with DF Watch to talk about the bilateral security and defense cooperation with the US which he said has already started. A few days ago bilateral consultations were held in Tbilisi […]

UN vote on Palestine causes controversy in Georgia

By | December 3rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch — It has caused great controversy in Georgia that its representatives at a session of the United Nations General Assembly voted in favor of Palestine being given observer status in the world organization. The vote comes amidst a time of criticism […]

6 500 prisoners to be released in Georgia

By | November 28th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — According to preliminary estimates by the Prison Ministry, about 6 500 prisoners will leave prison in Georgia soon. Prison Minister Sozar Subari said this in an interview on one of the local TV channels Wednesday. A day earlier, his deputy Giga […]

Amnesty plan modified out of concern for consequences

By | November 28th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — The planned mass amnesty in Georgia may apply to eight thousand prisoners and 19 000 on probation. Giga Giorgadze, Deputy Prison Minister, said this Tuesday at a session of parliament’s committee of human rights during review of a draft bill. […]

Why Ivanishvili cut 93% of Security Council’s funding

By | November 20th, 2012|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgia’s Security Council, which is a body subordinate to the president, cannot prove what it has spent USD 13.8 million on. This is why new the government cut its financing by the same amount in next year’s draft budget. Georgia’s 2013 draft […]

Georgian intelligence accused of political interference

By | November 16th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Intelligence officers detained yesterday are accused of using computer viruses to record audio and video of opposition groups, and blackmailing a man to record a prepared statement on video and upload it to Youtube. Former officials of the […]

2013 budget to focus on the social dimension

By | November 15th, 2012|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgia’s new government has now detailed what its priorities are by presenting a budget for next year of 7.34 billion lari, or USD 4.42 billion, which is USD 335 million more than this year’s budget. According to the 2013 budget bill, the […]

Courts in Georgia to finally become independent

By | November 11th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The court system will be depoliticized, cumulative sentencing will be abolished and video recording at trials will be allowed under certain conditions. This is the decision of te new government. An appropriate bill has been prepared. The […]

Mayor’s surprise visit at government may be investigated

By | November 10th, 2012|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — The prosecutor’s office is considering to investigate the mayor of Tbilisi who feels offended that he wasn’t allowed to attend the government session on Friday, even though he didn’t have a right to attend. Georgia’s finance minister Friday […]

Georgian minister wants to reopen land connection with Russia

By | November 6th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgia’s State Minister for Reintegration Issues says that the government should support restoring overland transportation with Russia through breakaway Abkhazia. Minister Paata Zakareishvili said this in an interview with the newspaper […]

Interest rates will drop, says Bank Association

By | November 2nd, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — The president of the Georgian Bank Association says the interest rate on loans will go down. Zurab Gvasalia said there is already a trend of falling interest rates on loans, but he thinks it is impossible to decrease the rates immediately. In […]

Ivanishvili unveils deputy ministers

By | November 1st, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — New candidates have been unveiled for deputy ministers in the new government. Despite an offer from Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili to previous deputy ministers that they may remain in their positions, only a few of them have stayed. Those […]

Georgia may release ten thousand prisoners in mass amnesty

By | October 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgia’s new government plans to give thousands of prisoner amnesty, but has not yet specific what categories of prisoners will be released. The most recent figures, from July 1, 2012, show that there were 23 406 prisoners in Georgia at the […]

Georgia parliament gathering in Kutaisi Sunday

By | October 20th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

Georgia’s Central Election commission Friday approved the protocol of the October 1, 2012, parliamentary election. The first session of the new parliament will be held on Sunday. Recently, the constitution was changed, so parliament sessions can only be held in Kutaisi […]

Ivanishvili completes his list of government ministers

By | October 16th, 2012|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgian Dream on Tuesday named the rest of its candidates for new government ministers. Bidzina Ivanishivli, Georgian Dream coalition leader, said the Ministry of Economy will be given certain new functions because of upcoming reforms. New economy […]

Close Saakashvili ally met Ivanishvili

By | October 13th, 2012|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch — President Mikheil Saakashvili promises Bidzina Ivanishvili to help in keeping the new government safe and to retain the direction of Georgia’s foreign policy. This was made clear by Giga Bokeria, Secretary of Georgia’s National Security Council, after […]

Government backtracks on seized property

By | October 10th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Property seized in the heat of the election campaign is to be returned, even though the new government is not yet in place. New stricter legislation was used by authorities in spring to fine tens of individuals, including election winner Bidzina Ivansivhili, […]

Saakashvili hands over record state coffers

By | October 9th, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — Georgia’s state accounts by are by September 2012 at one of the highest levels during the past few years at more than two billion, nearly USD 1.22 billion. The state budget for 2013 is 9 billion lari, USD 5.5 billion, which is more than half a billion […]

High expectations about low prices

By | October 7th, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: , , |

TBILISI, DFWatch — One of the largest petrol companies reduced the price of petrol by 8 tetris. A spokesman for the new government believes it is possible to decrease the price by 20 tetris, or about USD 0.13. This comes soon after the leader of a coalition which won the […]

Negotiations between Saakashvili’s and Ivanishvili’s people

By | October 5th, 2012|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — The winner of the aryparliament election, Georgian Dream, will from October 8 send representatives to each state body to start a  ‘peaceful transfer of government’ until a new government is formed. This was one of the major decisions made at a meeting between […]

Georgian colonel arrested

By | October 5th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch — A colonel in Georgia’s armed forces who recently chaired Georgian peace divisions in Afghanistan has been arrested. His arrest was announced 45 days after it happened, 15 days earlier than his punishment was to end. Opposition channel TV9 reported […]

Ivanishvili prepares for tough negotiations

By | October 3rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The coalition that won the parliament election is putting together a working group to handle relations with the president and the current government. The group will hold consultations in the name of the Georgian Dream coalition. The Georgian Dream […]

NDI to hold election monitoring

By | September 29th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The U.S. National Democratic Institute will observe Georgia’s parliamentary election on October 1. According to NDI’s Georgia office, the observer mission contains seven persons, out of which are current and former members of the US Congress, […]

Bokeria says he wants lighter punishment

By | September 27th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The secretary of Georgia’s National Security Council calls on law enforcement bodies to use lighter forms of punishment. Giga Bokeria, who is also chair of the inter-agency commission established by the government to monitor the election process, […]

Call for Georgian leaders to be banned in the West

By | September 24th, 2012|Categories: News, Prisoner abuse|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Groups in Georgia demands that the former prison minister, former interior minister, current justice minister and current chief prosecutor are banned from civilized countries because of their cruel and inhuman treatment of citizens. The appeal […]

Ivanishvili’s campaign surges after abuse scandal

By | September 23rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The leader of the government’s main competitor in the election in just over a week says that he has plans to solve the conflicts of Georgia’s breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgian Dream leader Bidzina Ivanishvili says first, rail and road […]

Prisoner said he was beaten after shakeup

By | September 22nd, 2012|Categories: News, Prisoner abuse|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The first new story of prisoner abuse has surfaced after President Saakashvili began a major shakeup of Georgia’s prison system. The attempt at “resetting” the prison reform comes after a wave of criticism following several videos showing […]

Georgia’s interior minister resigns over abuse scandal

By | September 21st, 2012|Categories: News, Prisoner abuse|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – After releasing the scandalous footage of prisoner abuse, Georgia’s powerful interior minister, who is suspected to be behind these incidents, has been forced to leave his post. For three days people all over Georgia have been demanding that Bacho […]

Georgian elite dancers support opposition

By | September 21st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Five members of the Georgian president’s favorite dance troupe, the National Ballet, say they support his main opponent. Georgian National Ballet – founded at the end of the Second World War — is the country’s most famous dance ensemble and its […]

Harassed for trying to leave the ruling party

By | September 20th, 2012|Categories: News, Prisoner abuse|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Members of the ruling National Movement party who have left the party as sign of a protest against prisoner abuse revealed by the release of several videos say the government is harasses them and their family member and trying to stop them from […]

Satellite dishes will not be distributed after all

By | September 19th, 2012|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Negotiations a TV company and the government about installing satellite receivers have failed. The director of Maestro TV claims the government’s offer to negotiate about the distribution of the equipment was just a ruse, and that it never planned […]

Ivanishvili denies rumours of Brussels meeting

By | September 15th, 2012|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The largest opposition bloc in Georgia refuses to sign a code of conduct signed by other political parties, because signing it would force it to recognize the election results if the international community does so. Friday Georgian media reported that […]

Maestro gets back its satellite receivers

By | September 11th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The government in Georgia has agreed to distribute satellite dishes it confiscated from Maestro TV. The equipment will be distributed to the population by the Georgian Post. Maestro has not yet decided whether to accept the offer, but mediators […]

Tbilisi treaty, part 2 – 35 years later

By | September 10th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – In Tbilisi on Friday, representatives of 103 countries adopted an agreement on environmental protection education. The treaty outlines what both countries and international organizations can do. It is a continuation of a treaty also signed in […]

Saakashvili’s party winning the war for ad spaces

By | September 10th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – In most cities in Georgia, almost all billboards, minibuses and buses are covered by commercials for the National Movement party. Other parties lack the money for such commercials, besides, the ruling party has already booked all available ad […]

NDI report highlights bias in application of law

By | September 4th, 2012|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The seizing of the bank accounts of an opposition figure and his partner, a former AC Milan player, has strengthened the perception of a selective and disproportionate application of the law, according to a new report by National Democratic Institute. […]

Former AC Milan player may become parliament speaker

By | September 1st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The opposition in Georgia considers to make the former AC Milan player Kakhi Kaladze speaker of parliament if they win the election on October 1. Georgian Dream has nominated the footballer on first place on its party list, which might mean that […]

Ivanishvili calls for non-confrontational election campaign

By | August 31st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of the largest opposition bloc in Georgia, promises that he will defend people’s vote solely by peaceful means and not call for a confrontation. But he also says that there are several measures that need to be taken […]

Georgian voters to get political debates

By | August 30th, 2012|Categories: Media, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The ruling party says the current parliamentary speaker and the prime minister will represent it in election debates. Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili is the National Movement’s candidate for prime minister in the election. The chair of the public […]

Audit body brings up more cases related to ruling party

By | August 29th, 2012|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The audit body in Georgia, which for several months has been busy fining the largest opposition bloc, now wants to fine five persons for donating to the ruling party. In contrast to the opposition related cases, the identity of the people in […]

Village head murdered by friend

By | August 28th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The head of a village near Tbilisi has been shot to death. A friend of the victim has admitted to have carried out the crime. The body was found in a forest Monday morning. The suspect says he was drunk and had a quarrel with the victim. After […]

Assessment of the election campaign so far

By | August 27th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The international community has begun to assess the election period in Georgia. Their comments focuse on the government’s fining of Georgian Dream coalition members and seizing their bank accounts. As they see it, such actions restrict […]

Government claims opposition is trying to discredit authorities

By | August 23rd, 2012|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The government in Georgia accuses the opposition bloc Georgian Dream of attempting to discredit government bodies. Two officials in the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly expressed concern about the seizing of bank accounts of parties […]

SGS to monitor goods across Russia-Georgia border

By | August 23rd, 2012|Categories: Economy, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Swiss company SGS will monitor the movement of goods on Russian-Georgian border from September 1, 2012. November 9, 2011, the governments of Georgia and Russia signed a deal which paved the way for Russia’s WTO membership, with Switzerland as […]

Ivanishvili names Irakli Alasania as candidate for Samegrelo

By | August 15th, 2012|Categories: Elections, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch - Bidzina Ivanishvili, the Georgian president’s main competitor, plans to win in the western Samegrelo region by having the country's former UN ambassador run there. The region borders on Russian controlled Abkhazia and is that part of the country where Mikheil Saakashvili’s government has the largest influence. Bidzina Ivanishvili named Irakli Alasania as majoritarian [...]

Ivanishvhili and Kaladze lost their appeal

By | August 15th, 2012|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Appeals Court in Tbilisi rejected an appeal by the leader of the opposition Georgian Dream coalition and a former AC Milan player. This means that the decision by Tbilisi City Court to fine them stands. Bidzina Ivanishvili was fined USD 12.3 […]

Energy and finance get new ministers in Georgia

By | August 14th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Two ministers have been changed after the new Georgian government was approved. No reason was given for suddenly making the energy minister finance minister, and the head of the local government committee of parliament, energy minister. Prime […]

Former AC Milan player Kakhi Kaladze fined USD 10 million

By | August 11th, 2012|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A well-known football player who left his career to join the opposition Georgian Dream coalition was on Friday fined 17 million lari for not doing as he was told by the State Audit Office. Kakhi Kaladze’s property was also seized, but he doesn’t […]

Takeover of Ivanishvili company runs its course

By | August 8th, 2012|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A lawyer for a company affiliated with the largest opposition bloc in Georgia has been sentenced to twenty days administrative detention for resisting police. His lawyers say Tbilisi City Court’s decision was illegal and are going to appeal. […]

Four years since the war between Russia and Georgia

By | August 8th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Four years after the war between Russia and Georgia, which led to hundreds of deaths, occupation of Georgian lands and Russia’s recognition of two separatist regions, flags are lowered on all government buildings. Davit Bakradze, Speaker of […]

Speaker of Parliament is abusing his position

By | August 7th, 2012|Categories: News, Politics|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Now that the date of Georgia’s parliamentary elections has been set to October 1, political parties are under certain restrictions set by law, that last until Election Day. One restriction is that it is prohibited to use administrative resources for campaigning. […]

Seized property sold at public auction

By | August 5th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – An auction is in progress to sell property seized from 17 people who donated money to political parties. A land plot with a dwelling belonging to Giga Bukia, a member of the Georgian Dream coalition, has already been sold. The State Audit Service […]

Policeman threatens cousin with gun over politics

By | August 4th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A police employee threatened his cousin with a gun because he was a member of the opposition Georgian Dream coalition. Georgian Dream representatives told DF Watch that the incident took place in the village Orulu near the town Zugdidi in the […]

Saakashvili supporters prevent Ivanishvili from addressing crowd

By | August 4th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Activists for the governing party Saturday prevented President Saakashvili’s main opponent, Bidzina Ivanishvili, from meeting with the population in a small mountain village in the Adjara region, in the southwest of Georgia. Journalists are reporting […]

Election campaign starts in Georgia, with strict rules

By | August 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia will hold parliamentary elections on October 1. The announcement marks the beginning of the election campaign and political parties are now subject to a special set of rules. Whereas, the Georgian constitution says that parliamentary […]

Georgia’s voters roll is still source of controversy

By | August 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – 291 471 voters registered in Georgia are currently living abroad, while 26 000 are dead. These are the main corrections which the state commission working with the voter’s lists have found by going door-to-door and checking 3 483 142 voters. […]

Georgia nationalizes geological information

By | July 30th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian state takes over ownership of information about fossil and mineral resources in the country. Before, this information was the private property of the company that did the geological survey. The government explains this with a need […]

Prisoners to go on hunger strike before election

By | July 28th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Human rights campaigners in Georgia are organizing a hungerstrike among prisoners in connection with the election for parliament. Organizers are the groups ‘Political Prisoners against the Dictate of Five’, ‘For Protection of Human Rights’ […]

Burjanadze supporter detained by police

By | July 27th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: , |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A supporter of a former government top who is now in the opposition was arrested Friday morning. For unknown reasons, Interior Ministry gave explanations for the arrest instead of Prosecutor’s office. Those two are different bodies, […]

Communications commission is violating the law

By | July 26th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s National Communications Commission (GNCC) is violating a recently amended law obliging it to inform the public as well as cable companies and TV channels directly, within one week of the must-carry and must-offer principles coming […]

Georgian Dream supports non-use of violence declaration

By | July 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The opposition Georgian Dream coalition is ready to join a declaration asking for a competitive, fair and peaceful election. Maia Panjikidze, spokesperson for the coalition, said Monday that the coalition supports a document published July 16 […]

Increasing oil import to Georgia due to tourism

By | July 23rd, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia increased its import of oil by 8.5 percent in the first half of 2012 compared to last year and is now at 378 323 764 kg. Analysts say the increasing import is related to larger numbers of tourists visiting the country. The figure was […]

Ivanishvili offers to cover population’s losses after storm

By | July 21st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Saakashvili’s main competitor, who accuses the government of abusing the legal system to intervene in his party’s election campaign, offers the government 10 million lari, or USD 6.1 million, as assistance to people affected by the recent storm. […]

Government rules out extending media diversity law

By | July 20th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian government does not intend to change its position in regards of to implementing the must-carry and must-offer principles. This means that it does not go along with the recommendation of foreign ambassadors in Georgia. These asked […]

Ivanishvili offers to help flood victims, Saakashvili considers

By | July 20th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

Georgia’s Speaker of Parliament says the prime minister should decide whether opposition billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili may be allowed to help reimburse losses suffered after yesterday’s storm. Ivanishvili’s opposition Georgian Dream coalition has offered to help […]

Georgian opposition announces candidates for Tbilisi

By | July 19th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Bidzina Ivanishvili Thursday announced the names of all ten majoritarian candidates for Tbilisi and several candidates in the regions. This time his opposition Georgian Dream coalition brings forth many popular names. Some of the candidates […]

Georgia sees 8 percent growth so far in ’12

By | July 18th, 2012|Categories: In brief, News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s GDP grew 1.3 percent in second quarter of 2012, compared to the first quarter and is now at 8.1 percent, according to official statistics. Georgia’s National Statistics Department points out that these are preliminary figures, […]

Surveys differing wildly ahead of Georgian election

By | July 17th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The opposition Georgian Dream party does not trust the results of a survey conducted by the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which shows that the governing party of President Saakashvili has twice as much support as Georgian Dream. […]

Georgian opposition is closing the gap on Saakashvili

By | July 16th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A new poll shows that the opposition Georgian Dream movement has nearly doubled its support in the last six months. But it still has a long way to go to match the ruling National Movement party, if the poll is correct. The ruling party has […]

Government proposes non-use of violence in election campaign

By | July 16th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian government calls for political parties to commit to not use or incite violence during this year’s election process. The declaration submitted for parties to sign commits them to not use violence, nor call for violence or voice […]

Ivanishvili company’s assets seized, but must pay fine

By | July 15th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI – Authorities in Georgia have issued a 2 million dollar fine to one of opposition financier Bidzina Ivanishvili’s companies, and at the same time seized all its assets. The reason for both decisions is that according to the State Audit Service, […]

Less Georgians want NATO membership

By | July 11th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – There is a significant drop in support among Georgians for their country being integrated in NATO. In six months, the level of support has fallen from 70 to 62 percent. Also the support for Georgia being integrated with the EU has dropped since […]

Russian military presence called occupation

By | July 10th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Russian military presence in Georgia’s breakaway regions are increasingly being called an occupation. The first to use the term was U.S. representatives. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used the term during a visit to Tbilisi in 2010. […]

Prime mimister’s powers are increased

By | July 5th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – At a time when Vano Merbaishvili was not yet confirmed as Prime Minister, a bill was brought to parliament to increase the authority of the prime minister. Parliament passed it at the first hearing. According to the bill, which was proposed by the […]

Petre Tsiskarishvili explains Merabishvili’s promotion

By | July 3rd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

President Mikheil Saakashvili Saturday appointed interior minister Vano Merabishvili as prime minister. DF Watch spoke to Petre Tsiskarishvili about the surprise announcement. Tsiskarishvili is parliamentary leader of the majority National Movement party. He says that […]

Saakashvili may have violated constitution

By | July 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – President Mikheil Saakashvili’s appointment of a former interior minister as prime minister may have been in violation of the constitution, and therefore invalid. One of Georgia’s most experienced constitutional experts, Vakhtang Khmaladze, says […]

Georgia woos Circassians, gains support in North Caucasus

By | July 2nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian parliament on Friday approved the country’s strategy on relations with North Caucasus people. At the beginning, the strategy had status as a concept, but when it finally was passed its status had been raised and it needed a […]

Georgia’s new prime minister has a controversial past

By | July 1st, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – The goal of appointing Ivane Merabishvili, the powerful Interior Minister, to the post of Prime Minister is to solve problems in health care and agriculture – this is what Merabishvili said on Saturday, after being appointed to this post. He […]

Media diversity law could lead to social turmoil

By | June 29th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – An opposion party in Georgia warns that a law meant to create diversity in media will lead to social turmoil after the election in October. Levan Vepkhvadze, one of the leaders of the opposition Christian Democrats, says introducing so-called must-carry […]

Georgia seizes Cartu Bank and Progress Bank

By | June 27th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – National Bureau of Enforcement has seized Bidzina Ivanishvili’s 100 percent share in Cartu Group and Cartu Bank and a 21.7 percent share he has in Progress Bank because of failure to pay a USD 45 million fine. The businessman claims that he only […]

Georgian opposition’s bank accounts may be seized

By | June 26th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Parties in Bidzina Ivanishvili’s opposition bloc may have their bank accounts seized. Tina Khidasheli, one of the Georgian Dream coalition leaders, says if their bank accounts are seized, it will mean they will have to stop campaigning. The Chamber of Control has […]

Saakashvili promises Georgians NATO membership in 2014

By | June 26th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has renewed his old election pledge about getting his country into NATO, as he is facing parliamentary and presidential elections. The promise has been a mainstay of Saakashvili’s election campaigning since the […]

Georgia bans mobile phones inside court rooms

By | June 24th, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia has enforced new tough rules that make it prohibited to bring cell phones and other recording devices into court rooms. Also prohibited are photo and video equipment. The government does not comment on the issue. […]

Georgian government gives in to democracy campaign’s demand

By | June 22nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – A leading lawmaker in Georgia says he is positive to a new law proposal that would diversify access to the media. Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakradze said Friday that he supports the introduction of the principles must-carry and must-offer. […]

The rebranding of the Georgian opposition

By | June 22nd, 2012|Categories: News|Tags: |

TBILISI, DFWatch – What is the Georgian opposition? We give you the facts about what groups Bidzina Ivanishvili has recruited to his Georgian Dream coalition. The Georgian Dream coalition currently consists of the Republicans, the Free Democrats, the National Forum, […]