The Daily Dispatch

The Daily Dispatch – June 29

Welcome back! The Daily Dispatch is our editorial take on the past day’s news. You can subscribe here to get it in your mailbox . Click to write to us! We’d love to hear your ideas and opinions. Giorgi Tskhakaia has been browsing the news for you.

Constitutional CHANGES COME TRUE After months fraught with uncertainty, the constitutional changes allowing to remold the electoral system were pushed through the Parliament. Animated by the aftermath of the final voting held today, friends took turns applauding Georgia (here, here and here) that has advanced to a new level of democracy. Still, the milestone did not pass without its fair dose of cross-party bickering. It’s a historic day for Georgia, and a hysteric day for the opposition, quipped ruling party’s frontbencher Mamuka Minaradze, rapping Georgian Dream’s opponents for not backing the bill. The UNM and European Georgia parties, who boycotted the vote as their condition to release Giorgi Rurua from custody was not met, maintain that Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgian Dream’s billionaire patron, gave the nod to pass the much-sought changes owing to mounting pressure from the West. Politics as usual.

AMBASSADORIAL SAGA – PART 2 For almost a week now, German Ambassador Knirsch has been caught in the eye of the storm, since the series of his remarks hit the raw nerve of some opposition-minded Georgians. Things have come to a head today as a whole slew of local CSOs struck back at the diplomat’s assertion that theirs was a personal attack at ruling party MP Kiladze’s bid to serve on a high-level UN committee. Watchdogs say their criticisms were grounded in UN benchmarks – both substantive, and procedural. Meanwhile, the Embassy chided Tabula, an online media outlet, for distorting German diplomat’s remarks and slammed its reluctance to eat a humble pie. Standing in peer-to-peer solidarity, envoys from EU member states closed ranks behind their embattled colleague and denounced accusations leveled against Knirsch by some party leaders. A red-letter day for MP Kiladze, who jumped at the chance to bash her political foes again. Part 3 may be in the making…

WHAT DO VIRAL FOOTPRINTS TELL The daily infection rates keep tumbling down in Georgia, knock on wood. A new study by Tbilisi Hospital of Infectious diseases gauges the spread of infection among adult Tbilisites. Preliminary results are reassuringly auspicious (or not, if you aim for that “herd immunity”), only ten out of one thousand tested persons came up positive, pegging the ratio of virus prevalence at 1,18 %. It is hard to arrive at accurate estimates for the likely prevalence in the country, as testing did not cover virus-hit regions. However, the figure still looks amazingly low when compared to European and American cities, where the virus spread is measured in double digits.

That’s full lid for today!


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