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The Daily Dispatch – July 20

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LINING UP The ruling party presented its majoritarian lineup – opting for tried and tested operators – opposition says all docile yes-men. The journalists noted a significant presence of the COVID-19 “musketeers” – i.e. director and the deputy of the National Center for Disease Control, who might swell the ranks of the ruling party’s proportional list. Incidentally, the Georgian Dream seems to follow that old mode of positive discrimination from the legendary “Yes, Minister” BBC political series, where the protagonists agreed to give the job to the best man, irrespective of gender. Out of 30 candidates, only one was – to borrow the “Yes, Ministers” immortal prose again – of the female persuasion.

IMMORTAL Enzel Mkoyan knows how to jump ships. He has been a majoritarian MP from Akhalkalaki – irrespective of which party was in power. Shevardnadze’s Citizens Union, Saakashvili’s UNM, or the current ruler, Georgian Dream – they all came for the local strongman. Now the video is circulating with Mkoyan chasing around an opposition MP with a pistol. Bad publicity and no punishment so far. At least he was not named on the GD list today.

UNDER THEIR EYE An international journalist watchdog RSF (Reporters without Borders) warned the Georgian government against interfering in the news media’s work. RSF referred to the recent investigation into Mtavari Arkhi report, interference into public broadcaster Adjara TV practices, and mounting government accusations of “fake news” used to clubber independent voices. In the meantime, Media Charter, a national media watchdog issued a monitoring report, proving that Adjara TV’s editorial policy got indeed altered into government’s favor following the dismissal of critical journalists.

REPUBLICANS UNCHAINED? The Republican Party leader said the court overruled the decision of the Central Election Commission, which refused registration for the veteran party, saying it received the requisite documents late. The Republicans argued they’ve sent the docs before the deadline, but they were held up in the post.

That’s full lid for today!

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