Georgia News

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The regional elections in Georgia, including the first direct mayoral elections in Tbilisi and interim parliamentary elections, are being held with no violations, the press spokeswoman for the Central Electoral for the Central Election Commission of the country Juli Giorgadze said, reports RIA Novosti.

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The Russian military has released four citizens of Georgia arrested three days ago in South Ossetia, reports YUGA.ru.They were arrested on May 27th at the village of Ioncha, transported to a Russian military base and then on to Tskhinvali.

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At 8.00 hours voting for regional authorities began in the cities and regions of Georgia. The mayor of Tbilisi is also being elected today, a representative of the Central Election Commission of Georgia noted, ITAR-TASS reports.14 political parties and 3 electoral blocks are taking part in the elections. There are 9 candidates for the post of mayor of Tbilisi.

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On May 29th 1992, during the Georgian war of aggression against South Ossetia, the Supreme Soviet of the republic adopted the Act of Independence of the Republic of South Ossetia."This act was an important and brave step. We constituted ourselves as a nation and advanced a national idea - the idea of independence", the speaker of the Parliament of South Ossetia stated.

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"Whatever happens and whoever the presidents may be, relations between Ukraine and Georgia will be good" - 82 year-old ex-president of Georgia Eduard Shevarnadze said in an interview to the "Izvestiya v Ukraine" newspaper.

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David Cameron has expressed his wish to meet the president of Georgia soon, Saakashvili's press secretary Manana Manjagaladze said, quoting a telephone conversation between the two leaders, reports Interfax. Saakashvili congratulated Cameron on his election and recalled that Cameron had been one of the first European politicians to go to Georgia in August 2008 to support the nation. Majagaladze also reported that the president would pay visits to Romania and France and would meet the leaders of the two countries.

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The central election committee of Georgia has provided the conditionsfor transparent May 30 local elections, the chairman of thecommission, Zarab Haratishvili, said, reports Georgia Today.The commission has clarified the electoral list. The number of votersaccording to the latest information is estimated at 3,544,770 and thetotal amount of people employed at the elections will be 48,000. About10,000 local and foreign observers will monitor the polling process.

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The total assets of Georgian commercial banks exceeded $4.8 billion on May 1st. According to Georgian National Banks it is $450 million more than last year’s indicator, Georgia Times reports.The total assets of the bank sector reached $873 million, or 17.8% of cumulative assets.Georgian commercial banks had a $5 million income in April and $13.7 million since the start of this year.

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The Georgian Central Electoral Committee (CEC) is ready to hold local elections on May 30th and the elections for mayor of Tbilisi, the head of the CEC Zurab Kharatishvili said at a meeting with the inter-fractional parliamentary group on elections on Friday, RIA Novosti reports.Kharatishvili presented information on the work of the CEC and the electoral administration in the pre-election period, on technical support and clarification of the voters register, and on reaction to violations in the pre-election period.

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The US President Barack Obama sent a letter to Georgian PresidentMikhail Saakashvili on the occasion of the Independence Daycelebration on May 26th. In the letter he noted that Washington andTbilisi remain strategic partners, Georgian Presidential Vice-SpeakerManana Mandjagaladze said on Thursday, Interfax reports.

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Publication of results of polling concerning the elections of May 30th in Georgia will be forbidden tomorrow at 08.00, Georgia Online reports.The election code is still under consideration. All pre-election paid and free political advertising on television and radio will be forbidden on May 29th at 24.00.

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Georgia celebrates on Thursday Diaspora Day, which was established by President Mikheil Saakashvili in 2007, Georgia Times reports. On Wednesday morning, the conference "Diaspora Day - 2010" was opened. About 100 representatives of the Georgian diaspora are taking part in it.

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Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili did not confirm that IranianPresident Mahmud Ahmadinejad's visit to Georgia had been decided,though he noted that Premier Nika Gilauri plans to visit Tehran todiscuss economic issues, Iran News reports.“The Iranian leader received the invitation 4 or 5 years ago. A lothas changed since then”, Saakashvili told TV journalists on May 25th.He noted that Georgia and Iran had agreed on lifting their visaarrangements, which had attracted more Iranian tourists to Georgia.

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