2013 in Georgia (country)

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2013
in
Georgia (country)
Decades:
See also: Other events of 2013
Years in Georgia (country)

In 2013, Georgia finalized its first-ever peaceful change of power and transition to a parliamentary republic. The Georgian Dream-dominated government, which came to power after defeating, in October 2012, the United National Movement led by the outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili, promised more democratic reforms. The Georgian Dream candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili won the presidential election in October 2013 and the new constitution significantly reducing the authority of the president in favor of those of the prime minister and government came into effect. In November, the leader of the Georgian Dream, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili announced his withdrawal from politics as promised earlier, and the Parliament of Georgia approved his nominee, Irakli Garibashvili, as the country's new head of government.

The relations between the new cabinet with the outgoing President Saakashvili and his allies remained tense. The year saw controversies surrounding the detentions and trials on various charges of several members of the previous government and the UNM, including the ex-ministers Bacho Akhalaia and Ivane Merabishvili, and the incumbent mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava, who was suspended by the court from his elected office. Human rights record was marred by the violence against anti-homophobia activists in May.

The new government repeatedly stressed their adherence to Georgia’s pro-Western foreign policy course and intention to improve relations with Russia, which had fought a war with Georgia over breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008. Despite verbal overtures and meeting between Georgian and Russian diplomats, the relations between the two countries showed no significant improvement. Georgia protested against installment of barbwire fences by the Russian military along the South Ossetian demarcation line. In November, Georgia initialed an association agreement with the European Union and won praise from NATO for reforms.

Incumbents[edit]

National[edit]

Autonomous republics[edit]

Adjara[edit]

Abkhazia[edit]

Disputed territories[edit]

Abkhazia[edit]

South Ossetia[edit]

Events[edit]

January[edit]

February[edit]

  • February 7 — President Saakashvili's annual state of the nation address in the Parliament, scheduled for February 8, is postponed by the Georgian Dream parliamentary majority amid controversy over the Georgian Dream-initiated constitutional amendments to restrict presidential power. Saakashvili decides to deliver his speech from the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia.[9]
  • February 8 — Some 300-strong group of protesters physically assault members of President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement party outside the National Library, forcing the president to deliver his annual state of the nation address from the presidential palace.[9]

March[edit]

The Parliament session hall in Kutaisi in April 2013.
  • March 4 — The meeting between President Saakashvili and Prime Minister Ivanishvili in Tbilisi for talks about their differences fail to bring tangible results.[10]
  • March 4 — The Parliament of Georgia adopts a resolution, drafted jointly by the rivaling Georgian Dream and United National Movement factions, reiterating Georgia's commitment to its pro-Western foreign policy course.[11]
  • March 21 — The Parliament of Georgia unanimously passes constitutional amendment stripping the President of his right to appoint the new government without Parliament's approval. In a preceding non-binding test vote President Saakashvili's allies in the parliament vote against the measure to prove the Georgian Dream majority do not have the 2/3 majority required to change the constitution on their own. The amendments are passed with the third and final reading on March 25, 2013.[12][13]

April[edit]

  • April 19 — Over 10,000 people gather in downtown Tbilisi in support of President Saakashvili and his United National Movement in a first mass rally since the party's defeat at the October 2012 parliamentary elections.[14]
  • April 27 — The Georgian Dream candidates win all three vacant seats in the parliament of Georgia in the by-elections in three single-mandate constituencies in Nadzaladevi (Tbilisi), Baghdati, and Samtredia.[15]

May[edit]

The Afghanistan deployment ceremony for the 42nd and 33rd infantry battalions. March 22, 2013.
  • May 12 — First Deputy Interior Minister and member of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, Gela Khvedelidze, is arrested over charges of breach of privacy related to the case involving leak of a secretly recorded threesome sex video, purportedly featuring one of his critics.[16]
  • May 21 – Ivane Merabishvili, the United National Movement party secretary general and Georgia's former Prime Minister, and Zurab Tchiaberashvili, governor of Kakheti, are arrested in connection to investigation into alleged misspending of GEL 5.2 million public funds on their party activists during the 2012 election campaign, leading to accusations of political vendetta leveled by the United National Movement against the Ivanishvili government.[21]

June[edit]

Deep Purple performing at the Tbilisi Open Air 2013.
  • June 6 – Seven Georgian servicemen are killed and nine wounded in an insurgent attack with a truck bomb on the ISAF base in Shir Ghazay, Afghanistan.[23]
  • June 13 – The Interior Ministry of Georgia announces it has "thwarted an attempted terrorist act at its stage of preparation" and arrests two suspects, the "foreign citizens" Mikail Kadiev and Rizvan Omarov.[24]
  • June 27 – NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visits Tbilisi, expressing his concern over recent arrests of the former government officials and urging Ivanishvili's government to avoid selective justice.[25]

July[edit]

August[edit]

  • August 26 – Tensions erupt in southern Samtskhe-Javakheti region as the government forcibly dismantles a minaret in the Muslim Georgian village of Chela, Adigeni Municipality, citing lack of proper building authorization.[29] The minaret would be reinstalled after the permission has been granted by the municipality council in November 2013.[30]

September[edit]

A Georgian villager is left beyond the barbwire fence installed by the Russian troops along the South Ossetia–Georgia contact line. September 2013
  • September 25 – President Saakashvili condemns what he calls the continuing annexation of Georgian lands by Russian troops while addressing the United Nations General Assembly as the Russian military continues to install barbed-wire fences to mark out new areas claimed by breakaway South Ossetia.[32]

October[edit]

  • October 3 – Georgia's Interior Ministry says that a Kyrgyz national, Samar Chokutaev, an IT specialist for a Russian mobile-phone operator in breakaway Abkhazia, has been charged in absentia on terrorism-related charges. The man is identified by the Georgian police as the author of a "jihad threat" video against Georgian troops circulating on the Internet in June.[33]
  • October 15 – Georgia's former defense minister under Saakashvili, Davit Kezerashvili, is detained on Interpol warrant in France on corruption charges, the Georgian government seeking his extradition.[34]
  • October 27 – Ruling Georgian Dream coalition candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili wins presidential election with 62% of vote. Outgoing president Saakashvili's UNM party candidate Davit Bakradze ends up second with 22%.[35]

November[edit]

Inauguration ceremony of President Giorgi Margvelashvili on November 17, 2013.
  • November 2 – Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili reiterates his decision to resign later in November, naming 31-year-old Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili as the Georgian Dream's choice for prime minister.[36]
  • November 3 – The outgoing President Saakashvili pardons his government's former member, Bachana Akhalaia, convicted of inhuman treatment of inmates which led to a bloody prison riot in March 2006. Akhalaia still remains in prison, pending trial for power abuse charges.[37]
  • November 7 – Georgia's chief prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili announces his resignation, citing differences on reforms within the government of Georgia.[38]
  • November 17 – Giorgi Margvelashvili is sworn in as the fourth President of Georgia. With this, a new constitution, significantly reducing new president's power at the expense of increasing prime minister's authority, comes into effect.[39]
  • November 20 – The Parliament of Georgia approves the new Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and his cabinet with 93 votes to 19.[40]
  • November 29 – Georgia initials association agreement with the European Union at the 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.[41][42][43]

December[edit]

  • December 4 – A contentious government-proposed local self-governance reform plan triggers more controversy after the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II, denounces it as a threat to Georgia's integrity.[44]
  • December 7 – Mikheil Saakashvili, the former President of Georgia, addresses the pro-Europe protesters in support of their cause in Kiev in Ukrainian.[45]
  • December 22 – The Tbilisi City Court suspends from office the Mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava, member of the formerly ruling and now the opposition UNM party, who is charged with misspending of GEL 48.18 million of public funds.[46]
  • December 30 – Chief Prosecutor Otar Partskhaladze resigns following controversy surrounding his past criminal record in Germany.[47][48]

Ongoing[edit]

Cinema[edit]

  • In Bloom, directed by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß
  • Georgian Shepherd Dog, directed by Toma Chagelishvili
  • Granny, directed by Sandro Katamashvili
  • The Leopard and the Brave, directed by Mariam Kandelaki
  • A Fold in My Blanket, directed by Zaza Rusadze[49]
  • Tangerines, a Georgian–Estonian film directed by Zaza Urushadze[50]

Deaths[edit]

  • January 5 – Jemal Ajiashvili, 69, Georgian-Jewish writer and former member of the Parliament of Georgia (1992–2003), because of "severe illness" .[51]
  • January 19 – Irakli Tsitsishvili, 91, Georgian pediatrician.[54]
  • February 5 – Natela Urushadze, 90, Georgian theater historian.[56]
  • May 24 – Viktor Domukhovsky, 65, Georgian politician, Member of Parliament (1991–92), heart attack (Warsaw, Poland).[57]
  • June 23 – Giorgi Tevzadze, 26, Georgian street racer, car accident.[59]
  • August 1 – Iakob Akhuashvili, 86, Georgian educator and anthroponymist.
  • October 4 – Gogi Khutsishvili, 65, Georgian political scientist and rights activist.
  • October 10 – Kote Cholokashvili, 91, Georgian ethnographer.
  • October 29 – Rudolf Kehrer, 90, Georgia-born German classical pianist.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kirtzkhalia, N. (January 2, 2013). Georgia takes up GUAM chairmanship. Trend News Agency.
  2. ^ Court Orders Pretrial Detention for Ex-Justice Minister In Absentia. Civil Georgia. January 6, 2013.
  3. ^ 190 Georgian 'political' prisoners walk free. PoliceOne.com. January 13, 2013.
  4. ^ Georgian Defense Minister Loses Deputy Prime Minister Post. RFE/RL. January 23, 2013.
  5. ^ PM Speaks of Reasons Behind Demoting Alasania. Civil Georgia. January 24, 2013.
  6. ^ Georgian Church Leader Meets Putin. Civil Georgia. January 23, 2013.
  7. ^ Ivanishvili had brief conversation with Medvedev in Davos. News.az. January 24, 2013.
  8. ^ "Georgia’s President comments on release of Javakhk activist Vahagn Chakhalyan". Georgian Public Broadcaster. 25 January 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Georgian Police Detain Three Involved In Tbilisi Violence. RFE/RL. February 9, 2013.
  10. ^ Meeting between leaders yields no results. The Messenger Online. March 6, 2013.
  11. ^ Parliament Adopts Bipartisan Resolution on Foreign Policy. Civil Georgia. March 7, 2013.
  12. ^ Georgian PM's allies curb presidential powers. Reuters. March 21, 2013.
  13. ^ Constitutional Amendment Passed with Final Reading. Civil Georgia. March 25, 2013.
  14. ^ Thousands rally in Georgia for Saakashvili. AFP through Global Post. April 19, 2013.
  15. ^ GD Candidates Lead in MP By-Elections. Civil Georgia. April 28, 2013.
  16. ^ First Deputy Interior Minister Arrested over Leaked Sex Video. Civil Georgia. May 12, 2013.
  17. ^ Three Georgian Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan Attack. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. May 13, 2013.
  18. ^ Conservatives attack gay activists at rally in Tbilisi. BBC News. May 17, 2013.
  19. ^ Mob Disrupts Gay Activist Rally in Georgia, 30 Injured. RIA Novosti. May 17, 2013.
  20. ^ Participants through the years: Georgia. Eurovision Song Contest. May 18, 2013.
  21. ^ Ex-PM Merabishvili, Ex-Healthcare Minister Tchiaberashvili Arrested. Civil Georgia. May 21, 2013.
  22. ^ 2013 Tbilisi Open Air held. Georgian Public Broadcaster 1st Channel. June 6, 2013.
  23. ^ Seven Georgian Soldiers Die in Afghan Truck Bomb Attack. Civil Georgia. June 6, 2013.
  24. ^ Interior Ministry Says it 'Foiled Terror Plot'. Civil Georgia. June 13, 2013.
  25. ^ Antidze, Margarita (June 27, 2013). NATO warns Georgia against political persecution of ex-officials. Reuters.
  26. ^ Georgian Police Say 116kg Heroin Seized. Civil Georgia. July 4, 2013.
  27. ^ Georgia, Vanuatu Establish Diplomatic Ties. Civil Georgia. July 15, 2013.
  28. ^ EU and Georgia conclude talks on Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. European Commission Press Release. July 22, 2013.
  29. ^ Bukia, Sofo (September 6, 2013). Toppled Minaret Provokes Passions in Georgia. Caucasus Reporting Service Issue 700. Institute for War & Peace Reporting.
  30. ^ Minaret Re-Erected in Chela. Civil Georgia. November 28, 2013.
  31. ^ First air show took place in Georgia. Georgian News TV. September 10, 2013.
  32. ^ Kuprashvili, Natia (October 1, 2013). Unfriendly Advances in Georgia. Caucasus Reporting Service Issue 703. Institute for War & Peace Reporting.
  33. ^ Kyrgyz Man Wanted In Georgia 'Jihad' Video. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. October 3, 2013.
  34. ^ "Tbilisi Seeks Extradition of Ex-Defense Minister Detained in France". Civil Georgia. October 15, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  35. ^ Georgia elections: Russia welcomes new president Giorgi Margvelashvili. The Telegraph. October 28, 2013.
  36. ^ Georgia: Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili Proposed as PM. EurasiaNet. November 2, 2013.
  37. ^ Saakashvili Pardons Akhalaia. Civil Georgia. November 3, 2013.
  38. ^ Antidze, Margarita (November 7, 2013). Georgia's chief prosecutor quits, cites differences on reforms. Reuters. Chicago Tribune.
  39. ^ Margvelashvili Sworn-in as New President. Civil Georgia. November 17, 2013.
  40. ^ New PM Wins Confidence Vote. Civil Georgia. November 20, 2013.
  41. ^ EU Turns Up the Heat on Ukraine. The Wall Street Journal. November 29, 2013.
  42. ^ Georgia initials association agreement with EU. Kiyv Post. November 29, 2013.
  43. ^ Strategic Eastern Partnership agreements signed in Vilnius. Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. November 29, 2013.
  44. ^ Govt Called 'Not to Yield to Attempts of Discrediting' Local Governance Reform. Civil Georgia. December 5, 2013.
  45. ^ Saakashvili Addresses Protesters in Kiev. Civil Georgia. December 5, 2013.
  46. ^ Court Suspends Tbilisi Mayor from Office. Civil Georgia. December 22, 2013.
  47. ^ Chief Prosecutor Resigns. Civil Georgia. December 30, 2013.
  48. ^ New Georgian Prosecutor-General Under Attack. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. December 27, 2013.
  49. ^ 2013 films. Georgian National Film Center. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
  50. ^ Tangerines (Mandariinid). Warsaw International Film Festival. Retrieved December 11, 2013.
  51. ^ (Georgian) პოეტი ჯემალ აჯიაშვილი გარდაიცვალა (The poet Jemal Ajiashvili dies). MediaNews. January 6, 2013.
  52. ^ "Экс-футболист "КС" Зураб Попхадзе покончил жизнь самоубийством". Region Samara. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  53. ^ (Georgian) გარდაიცვალა მსახიობი გურამ საღარაძე (The actor Guram Sagaradze dies). RFE/RL. January 17, 2013.
  54. ^ President expresses condolence over Irakli Tsitsishvili's death. Georgian Public Broadcaster. January 19, 2013.
  55. ^ (Georgian) გარდაიცვალა მომღერალი და პედაგოგი, ნოდარ ანდღულაძე (The singer and educator Nodar Andguladze dies). RFE/RL. January 30, 2013.
  56. ^ Georgian theater historian Natela Urushadze dies. Georgian Public Broadcaster. February 6, 2013.
  57. ^ ვიქტორ დომუხოვსკი 65 წლის ასაკში გარდაიცვალა ("Viktor Domukhovsky dies at 65"). News.ge. May 28, 2013.
  58. ^ Famous Georgian director Giga Lortkipanidze dies at 86. Georgian News TV. June 13, 2013.
  59. ^ Giorgi Tevzadze's Last Drift Video Before His Tragic Death and an Eerie YouTube Message. Carscoops. June 25, 2013.