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Georgian authorities and opposition hold talks

The speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Nino Burdzhanadze, has finally agreed to hold talks with opposition leaders after initially refusing to meet them. The meeting took place in the residence of the Georgian Patriarch.

Nino Burdzhanadze looked optimistic after the talks ended.

“We are ready for negotiations. We have very serious suggestions and initiatives. Everything now depends on the other side. I hope that everybody will be reasonable and we will get a consensus,” she said.    

The Patriarch blessed everyone at the meeting. As a highly respected figure in Georgia he seems the only possible mediator in the current situation. 

There will be further consultations in the evening in Nino Burdzhanadze’s office in Parliament, which the two sides hope will help to solve the crisis. as the both sides hope.  

P.A.C.E. delegation meets Georgian media

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe delegation has met with representatives of the Imedi and Caucasia TV channels, which were shut down by decree of the authorities.

They stressed the need for the state of emergency to be lifted as soon as possible, so that all Georgian media can get back to working normally. There is no independent TV news coverage in the country at the moment. The only news programme is broadcast  hourly by a state-owned channel.

The delegation members have also called for the presidential election, in scheduled for January 5, to be free and fair .    

Georgia's wealthiest man considers running for president
Georgian businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili says he might run for president.

In a written interview with Reuters, Patarkatsishvili said he would campaign against Mikhail Saakashvili in order to keep Georgia from sliding into ‘dictatorship’.

Patarkatsishvili is a powerful and controversial figure Georgia. 

He owns a majority stake in Georgia's main opposition broadcaster, Imedi, which was pulled off the air in an armed police raid on Wednesday. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. owns the rest of the shares and has management control.

However, the Georgian Prosecutor General's Office has accused the businessman of ‘plotting a coup to overthrow the constitutional bodies of state power.

To read the background of the story, please, follow the link.