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The Daily Beat: 25 September

President Salome Zurabishvili delayed the decision to revoke US-sanctioned Otar Partskhaladze’s Georgian citizenship. According to the statement issued by the president’s office, Otar Fartskhaladze has been exposed to espionage charges, and an investigation has been launched against him, so the President believes Otar Partskhaladze should stand trial as a Georgian citizen. The following day, the president posted another Facebook statement, saying that under the Georgian legislation, she has a three-month period to consider citizenship-related issues, calling on the relevant agencies to take all the appropriate measures to secure the country’s reputation.

Being under impeachment procedure for unauthorized foreign visits, President Salome Zurabishvili embarked on a Baltic trip to lobby the country’s EU candidacy. She has already met with her Estonian counterpart, Alar Karis, focusing on Georgia’s EU integration matters. After Tallinn, she is heading to Riga and Vilnius, where she is scheduled to meet with Latvian and Lithuanian colleagues. At home, the ruling party officials criticize her for traveling around, accusing her of breaching the constitution. “She can travel wherever she wants but does not represent the country,” said Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili, reacting to the President’s Baltic trip.  

Speaker Shalva Papuashvili is on an official visit to Romania, meeting with the President of the Romanian Senate. While in Bucharest, Speaker Papuashvili is also scheduled to meet the Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies, the Prime Minister, and the Foreign Minister. During the visit, he will also address the Senate and participate in the roundtable discussion organized by the Euro-Atlantic Sustainability Center. According to Papuashvili, Black Sea security and connectivity, Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, and closer parliamentary cooperation between the countries are at the top of the discussion agenda in Bucharest.

On Friday evening, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili addressed the 78th session of the UNGA, speaking of Georgia’s remarkable economic achievements and advancements in the EU integration process. PM Garibashvili recalled Russia’s 2008 military aggression and occupation of Georgian territories in his speech. He credited the country with a decade-long peace and stability since 2012, calling upon the international community to encourage Russia to engage in the “Geneva International Discussions” and fully implement the EU-mediated 2008 ceasefire agreement. The Prime Minister also expressed solidarity with Ukraine, emphasizing the importance of a rules-based international order.

The opposition party members of the United National Movement (UNM) Nika Melia, Bacho Dolidze, and Zviad Kuprava, detained by the police on Friday evening, were released from the courtroom. Still, the trial is scheduled for 23 October. On Friday evening, the ruling party supporters allegedly assaulted and beat a Tbilisi City Council member, Irakli Edzgveradze, from the UNM. Later, the incident was followed by the arrest of Melia and other members of the UNM.

Six persons were arrested and charged with an organized assault on an opposition member of the Tbilisi City Council, Irakli Edgzveradze. According to the Tbilisi City Court’s decision, all six will remain in custody. The defendants include the Tbilisi City Council employee and the brother of a Georgian crime boss, indicating possible links between the ruling party and criminals.


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