HAIL THE SAVIOR PM reported to the Parliament today, delivering the required litany of government’s successes and the welcome reiteration of the country’s European aspiration. He was haggled by the opposition MPs to take responsibility for police violence on June 20 last year. But having pinned the badge of Covid-19 tamer to his lapel, Mr. Gakharia felt brave enough to argue that he was, in fact, protecting MPs from the angry mob. As time passes, PM said, June 20 would be remembered as the day when I prevented the storming of the parliament. A tall order, seeing that the investigation on this matter has not advanced an inch for a year.
IN A SPOTLIGHT Rare for the foreign ambassador to keep a national spotlight for two news-cycles running, but German Ambo Hubert Knirsch has managed that. He told the journalists, that liberating Mr. Rurua, opposition-minded TV patron, was clearly not the part of March 8 agreement between the opposition and the parliament. He thus broke ranks with the US and European colleagues who seem to argue differently. Mr. Knirsch found himself on the ruling party’s side yesterday as well, reprimanding CSOs for dissing MP Kiladze, slated as the government’s candidate for the UN child rights body. CSOs argued Ms Kiladze made statements that belittle sexual and religious minorities. Amb. Knirsch said watchdogs should not stoop to personal attacks.
TUG OF WAR Mr. Rurua’s name was on the lips again, as the news broke that Senator Jim Rish inserted a rider to the Senate appropriations bill that would make military assistance to Georgia conditional on the release of Mr. Rurua. When we are writing this, we have no confirmation yet whether the amendment was indeed tabled. If it is, it would be a publicity coup for the opposition, tough hit for the Georgian Dream, and – let’s face it – embarrassing for Georgia.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH Transparency International – Georgia, a respected watchdog, published its report on Georgia’s anti-corruption mechanisms, saying existing protections are often inadequate, leaving too much space for nepotism and high-level corruption. The watchdog suggests creating an independent anti-corruption agency might help address some of the most blatant shortfalls.
EVISCERATED that’s how Adjara TV, autonomous province’s public broadcaster, finds itself after the new, politically dominated board installed the new manager and started sacking top journalists. A channel that briefly rose to national prominence is now a sad shadow of itself. The journalists from the sinking station gathered in Batumi, Adjara’s capital, to protest.
That’s full lid for today!