UNM, POSING — CLERICS RALLY AROUND SURROGACY ORDER — TBILISI TRANSPORT WOES AND HOPES
ET TU, UNM? It is official – despite the pledges not to run the candidates against each other in Tbilisi’s majoritarian districts, the United National Movement (UNM) has nominated Khatia Dekanoidze, former Minister of Education, to face Giorgi Vashadze for Isani constituency in Tbilisi. Vashadze said the UNM had “broken its word”. Other opposition parties also criticized the UNM’s move. UNM blamed Vashadze for breaching the agreement first. The ruling Georgian Dream must be delighted to see the opposition less united than it claims. Still, up to 30 opposition parties managed to agree on “defending each other’s votes” – in layman’s terms, on notifying each other if the election day is less fair than promised.
CUIUS REGIO, EIUS RELIGIO The controversial ministerial order restricting the “extra-corporeal fertilization” continues to spark outrage within the ranks of lawyers and doctors alike. The lawyers at GYLA, a legal watchdog, said they’ll go to the Constitutional Court since the new regulation is discriminatory and infringes upon the individual rights to liberty, private and family life. But the legal qualms aside, the Minister has been clearly pandering to the clerical circles of the most obscurantist sort. Nikoloz, the Bishop of Akhalkalaki, said the babies born from in vitro fertilization can not be happy – since other fertilized eggs had to “die” to make them live. While this might have been a particularly bizarre way to put it, it is by no means a fringe opinion: Patriarch Ilia himself has famously claimed in his 2014 sermon that children born out of in-vitro or surrogacy means are ‘problematic’ and ‘destined to be unloved and alone’. So much for that Christian Love.
CAUGHT IN TRANSIT Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze has been receiving slings and arrows of outrageous fortune aplenty recently, for daring to re-design Tbilisi’s posh Chavchavadze avenue in pedestrian’s favor. Yet he presses on: the municipality introduced the changes in the new Tbilisi Bus Transit (TBT) system, saying 10 transportation corridors will be served by priority bus lanes cordoned off from traffic. Deputy Mayor Maia Bitadze promised plenty of new buses to serve various routes from 2021 and a significant reduction of the bane of Tbilisi roads – marshutkas – minibuses loved for their convenience, but loathed for erratic driving style and often less-than-cool soundtrack… While the mayor’s office hopes to cut down the average transport waiting time to 7-15 minutes they must surely hope the whole reform does not share the grim fate of the recently renewed area near Khizanishvili street – which collapsed.
That’s full lid for today! The Dispatch will be back on Monday, in the meantime, you will receive the news update over the weekend.
We wish you an enjoyable weekend with your loved ones!