The Daily Dispatch

The Daily Dispatch – September 1

‘PATRIOTS’ HANDLED — APPEALING FOR RIGHTS — AGENCY vs GRAFT — FUN AND GAMES

It is that date on the calendar again, and while things might not stand as they traditionally were in this Covid-stricken world, our shout of encouragement goes out to all those who opened the schools’ gates for the first time today, and our wishes for perseverance to those who continue their studies.

This is the Daily Dispatch, our editorial take on Georgia-related developments of the day, delivered to your mailboxes every evening, except weekends, Tbilisi-time. That’s what our day looked like:

MEDDLE, MEDDLE KREMLIN STAR The fugitive Yukos chief Khodorkovski’s think tank delivered yet another blow to Georgia’s Alliance of Patriots, by showing the trove of messages in which their Moscow handlers berate the party bosses for not following their instructions. Notable is the KGB-reared attempt to play the anti-Turkish card by fomenting unrest in Adjara autonomous republic. After the infamous Billboard-gate in Adjara, the authenticity of these instructions will be hard to deny. Pro-Western opposition parties asked for criminal investigation but the prosecution sent the case to the State Audit Service, which deals with campaigning infringements. European Georgia called for banning the allegedly Russian-financed Alliance from the elections, but the Georgian Dream’s poker-faced party whip Giorgi Volski said that would be preposterous based on ‘some papers’.

THE PRESIDENT’S LETTER Local puppet leader Bibilov finds himself in a hot seat as people continue to rally in Tskhinvali as the crisis related to the maltreatment of an inmate. The outcry has already led to the ousting of the local “government” and the detention of seven suspects. Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili wrote to the UN, the EU, and other international organizations to inform them of the dreadful state of affairs in terms of human rights there. As the occupying forces keep up the pace of fencing, it seems they are trying to fence Tbilisi out just as much as trying to keep the local residents in. Can’t anything be done? The question, sadly, remains rhetorical for now.

TACKLING GRAFT Only yesterday they were the Georgian Dream star MPs. Having fallen out with their patron and colleagues over the failed election reform, MPs Tamar Chugoshvili, Tamar Khulordava, Irina Pruidze, Nino Goguadze, and Dimitri Tskitishvili have aligned with a major watchdog to penned the new draft law on creating a separate anti-corruption agency. The idea has been around since the late 1990s and has been actively backed by assorted international bodies as a recipe towards focalizing the combat against graft bypassing the agencies perceived themselves as corrupt. The detractors of the scheme point at – for example – Ukraine and the perils of launching bloody turf wars between the law enforcement agencies. At least opening the debate [again] seems like a good start.

PARTING WAYS The Azerbaijani Ambassador left Tbilisi and might be heading for a chilly reception in his capital. Following the allegations of arms supply from Serbia to Armenia through Georgia, the Azeri envoys to Tbilisi and Belgrade found themselves in hot water. The latter ended up behind bars. The face of the parting Tbilisi-dweller on this picture tells the story…

TIT FOR TAT There is no love lost between Georgian Dream’s human rights-meets-mother-superior MP Sophio Kiladze and a liberal prankster Zurab Girchi Japaridze (whose political affiliation is literally his middle name). On TV, Kiladze dodged a hardball question by dissing Girchi’s ability to reform anything. Japaridze shot back saying Killadze and her own silly reforms are not worth anybody’s attention. What a perfectly harmless exchange, you might remark, especially taking Georgia’s heated campaign vocabulary! And not even invoking Ivanishvili, Saakashvili, or Bokeria to boot…

That’s full lid for today!

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