2013 Timeline of Georgia

01/01/2013
2013_timeline_of_georgia

JumpStart Georgia continues making a visual timeline of Georgian events. Viewers can submit events that they feel should be included in the timeline using the submission form at the top of the website. After careful consideration, JumpStart Georgia will add qualified events to the timeline.

Amnesty draft law signed

01/12/2013
Amnesty_draft_law_signed

After overcoming the presidential veto, the amnesty draft law was signed by the Speaker David Usupashvili.

Minibus drivers on strike

01/23/2013 01/31/2013
Minibus_drivers_on_strike

Drivers went on strike for a week demanding a reduction in their daily fees, abolition of the individual entrepreneur status, improvement of their working conditions and reinstatement of drivers dismissed from their jobs.

Patriarch meets Putin

01/25/2013
Patriarch_meets_putin

Ilia II met Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Moscow along with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Kirill. “I want to convey to you huge greetings from our new Prime Minister [Bidzina Ivanishvili],” the Georgian Patriarch told Putin.

“He [PM Ivanishvili] does everything possible and required for mending ties with everyone,” he added. “I think that those problems, which exist between us, will be removed and we will again be brothers.”

Parliament refuses to listen to the President

02/07/2013
Parliament_refuses_to_listen_to_the_president

The Parliament of Georgia refused to allow President Mikheil Saakashvili to give his annual report because the parliamentary opposition had not accepted the constitutional amendments to limit presidential powers.

Violence at the public library

02/08/2013
Violence_at_the_public_library

President Saakashvili decided to address the nation from the National Library with a speech he was intending to deliver in his annual report in the Parliament. Protesters gathered outside the library assaulted UNM supporters and did not allow the supporters to approach the main entrance. Due to these protests, Saakashvili made his address to the nation from his residence instead of the National Library.

UNM and GD negotiations

02/10/2013
Unm_and_gd_negotiations

Parliamentary speaker Davit Usupashvili met with President Saakashvili to discuss the Constitutional Amendments introduced by Georgian Dream, which had recently become a major source of contention between Saakashvili’s UNM party and PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition. The Amendments would limit presidential powers to sack the sitting government and appoint a new one without Parliament’s approval.

Diplomats worrying about Georgia

02/11/2013

"Worrying that majority blocks President from delivering traditional address to Parliament of Georgia. Mutual respect is key to democracy." - tweets Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister of Sweden about the violence at the public library in Georgia.

Merabishvili and Ex-Healthcare Minister questioned by the prosecutor's office

02/12/2013
Merabishvili_and_exhealthcare_minister_questioned_by_the_prosecutors_office

The Prosecutor’s office summoned former PM Vano Merabishvili, now UNM Secretary General, and ex-Healthcare Minister Zurab Tchiaberashvili, now Governor of the Kakheti region, for questioning over the ongoing investigation into alleged misspending of GEL 5.24 million public funds on UNM activists during the 2012 election campaign.

Tbilisi Mayor Charged

02/23/2013
Tbilisi_mayor_charged

Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, was formally charged with two counts of misspending and embezzlement of large amounts of public funds and one count of money laundering on two separate cases. He was not arrested.

Ivanishvili among billionaires

03/05/2013
Ivanishvili_among_billionaires

On Forbes’s new list of the world’s richest people in 2013, Bidzina Ivanishvili holds 229th place, down from 185th the year before. In the 2012 rating, the political newcomer’s property totaled USD 6.4 billion.

“Georgia’s richest person by far, he decided to enter politics just a year earlier and within months had sold off all of his business interests in Russia for a net gain of nearly $1.3 billion,” Forbes writes.

Authorization of AGRUNI ceased

03/12/2013
Authorization_of_agruni_ceased

The National Center for Education Quality Enhancement (NCEQE), having deliberated for almost 10 hours, made a decision to cancel the authorization of the Agrarian University based on the results of an inspection which the NCEQE launched on January 3rd.

Mass Amnesty

03/14/2013
Mass_amnesty

8,339 inmates had been freed as of March 14th as a result of broad amnesty.

Constitutional Amendment

03/25/2013
Constitutional_amendment

With 114 votes, Parliament passed its third and final reading of the Constitutional Amendment that strips the President of his right to appoint a new government without Parliament’s approval.

Accreditation Restored To AGRUNI

03/27/2013
Accreditation_restored_to_agruni

Georgia's Council of Authorization ruled that the accreditation for the Agrarian University in Tbilisi should be reinstated. Council officials announced that the decision was made after "the university corrected all the violations of the Law on Education."

PayPal in Georgia

04/11/2013
Paypal_in_georgia

PayPal, the largest online payments business, launched service in Georgia. PayPal is owned by eBay Inc.

PayPal said in a press release on April 11, that the launch in Georgia came as internet and e-commerce were on a growing trend.

Borjomi Available in Russia

04/12/2013
Borjomi_available_in_russia

Georgian mineral water company Borjomi received permission to return to the Russian market.

President expenses released

04/17/2013
President_expenses_released

Irina Imerlishvili, an MP from Georgian Dream, released spending record documents from the Special State Protection Service (SSPS), which, GD says, shows misspending of large amounts of public funds by President Saakashvili.

UNM Rally

04/19/2013
Unm_rally

Less than seven months after defeat in the Parliamentary election, the former ruling party United National Movement (UNM) drew over ten thousand supporters in Tbilisi. The leaders spoke of the party’s “renewal” and the launch of a new campaign which they dubbed as the “new national movement.”

MP Bi-Elections

04/27/2013
Mp_bielections

Bi-elections were held in Tbilisi’s Nadzaladevi district, as well as in the Samtredia and Bagdati districts of the Imereti region in Western Georgia. All three districts were won by Georgian Dream.

Agriculture Minister Quits

05/02/2013
Agriculture_minister_quits

Agriculture Minister Davit Kirvalidze asked to be suspended from office due to an investigation of several officials from the ministry and it's affiliated entities in connection to an alleged case of misspending GEL 2.5 million of public funds.

Georgia participating in Sochi Olympics

05/02/2013
Georgia_participating_in_sochi_olympics

The Georgian National Olympic Committee unanimously endorsed to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Church Calls for Anti-Abortion Law

05/07/2013
Church_calls_for_antiabortion_law

During his Easter epistle, Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church Ilia II called on Georgian authorities to adopt an anti-abortion law, saying that it would contribute to resolving the country’s “grave demographic situation.”

Anti Homophobia Rally

05/10/2013
Anti_homophobia_rally

Identoba, a Tbilisi-based gay rights group, announced a 30-minute rally for May 17th to mark the International Day Against Homophobia outside the former Parliament Building on Rustaveli Avenue.

GD Presidential Candidate

05/11/2013
Gd_presidential_candidate

Education Minister Giorgi Margvelashvili, whom PM Ivanishvili once described as his “friend” and an “exemplary” minister, was named by the Georgian Dream coalition as its presidential candidate for the October 2013 elections.

Rally to Protest Gay Rights Rally

05/13/2013
Rally_to_protest_gay_rights_rally

Anti-gay Orthodox activists announced a parallel rally on May 17th to protest against people supporting gay rights in Georgia.

Georgians Killed in Afghanistan

05/14/2013
Georgians_killed_in_afghanistan

Three Georgian servicemen were killed after a suicide bomber, accompanied with an attack by a group of insurgents, rammed an explosives-laden truck into their base in the Helmand province.

Orthodox Groups Thwart Gay Rights Rally

05/17/2013
Orthodox_groups_thwart_gay_rights_rally

Aggressive anti-gay protesters, led by Orthodox clergy, thwarted a rally marking the International Day Against Homophobia. 28 people, including police and journalists, were injured in the violence.

4 people fined

05/21/2013
4_people_fined

Four people were fined for petty hooliganism during the violence on May 17th. They were fined GEL 100 each and then released.

Merabishvili and Tchiaberashvili Arrested

05/21/2013
Merabishvili_and_tchiaberashvili_arrested

Former PM Vano Merabishvili, now UNM Secretary General, and ex-Healthcare Minister Zurab Tchiaberashvili, now Governor of the Kakheti region, were arrested after being interrogated by prosecutors in Kutaisi in connection with alleged misspending of GEL 5.2 million public funds on UNM activists during the 2012 election campaign.

According to the Prosecutor’s office, Merabishvili is also facing charges on a separate case, which allegedly involves misappropriation of private property and embezzlement of GEL 158,000 in 2009, when he served as Interior Minister.

Clerics Charged over May 17th Violence

05/23/2013
Clerics_charged_over_may_17th_violence

Two clerics were charged without being arrested in connection to the May 17th violence when an attempted anti-homophobia rally was disrupted. The criminal charges involved illegally impeding the right to assembly and demonstration with use of force or threat of force. These charges come with either a fine, one year of “corrective work”, or imprisonment for two years.

‘No to Theocracy’ Rally

05/24/2013
No_to_theocracy_rally

A week after an Orthodox clergy-led crowd violently attacked an attempted anti-homophobia rally, several hundred people gathered in a downtown Tbilisi park under the slogan ‘No to Theocracy’ to protest against violence and to speak out against what they believe is the Georgian Orthodox Church’s attempts to claim supremacy over the state.

Independence Day

05/26/2013
Independence_day

Georgia marked its Independence Day with a series of festivities and various outdoor events in Tbilisi and twenty five other towns across the country. There was no army parade, but military component was still present as military equipment, including battle tanks, armored vehicles and various armaments, were deployed in downtown Tbilisi and a number of other towns for public display.

Fences at S.Ossetia Administrative Border

05/27/2013
Fences_at_sossetia_administrative_border

Reports of intensified fencing efforts by the Russian troops installing wire fences across parts of the South Ossetian administrative border. The local villagers in the Georgian-controlled areas say the fence negatively affects their daily life by hindering their free movement and agricultural activities.

Merabishvili Charged with Additional Count

05/28/2013
Merabishvili_charged_with_additional_count

Former PM Vano Merabishvili, now UNM Secretary General, was charged with an additional count, the breach of the law on police, in relation to the dispersal of the protest rally on 26 May 2011.

Kaladze’s farewell match

05/31/2013
Kaladzes_farewell_match

Minister of Energy Kaka Kaladze's farewell match was between Milan, with which Kakhi twice won the Champions League, and “the team of Kaladze’s friends” which gathered players from Tbilisi and Kiev Dynamos and Italian Genoa where Kakhi finished his Italian career. Kaladze played a half of the match for each team. The match was won by Milan.

Georgian Soldiers Killed in Helmand

06/06/2013
Georgian_soldiers_killed_in_helmand

Seven Georgian soldiers were killed and nine wounded after a truck bomb hit one of the forward operating bases in the Helmand province of Afghanistan.

Amendments to Law on Higher Education

06/14/2013
Amendments_to_law_on_higher_education

Draft amendments to the law on higher education, drafted by the Education Ministry, which would give the Prime Minister the right to appoint provisional heads of state universities, was met with a strong opposition from some universities’ academic circles and from the UNM Parliamentary Minority Group. Even some members of the Georgian Dream Parliamentary Majority Group spoke out against the proposal.

Prison Scandal

06/15/2013
Prison_scandal

16 people were found guilty in prison abuses and were sentenced to various prison terms. Vladimer Bedukadze, a former prison guard who was facing charges related to torture and inhuman treatment of inmates, avoided punishment after the prosecution decided to relieve him of criminal responsibility as a result of a plea bargaining deal.

Footage from Samegrelo

06/17/2013
Footage_from_samegrelo

An underground cache was discovered in Samegrelo containing large quantities of weapons, drugs and videos featuring cruel torture and sexual harassment of citizens.

9 People Detained

06/21/2013
9_people_detained

The Ministry of Internal Affairs detained nine people for the cache discovered in Samegrelo. According to Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, the detainees included former and current employees of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, along with the individual who raped the people in the video found in the cache.

Merabishvili charged for Girgvliani case too

06/24/2013
Merabishvili_charged_for_girgvliani_case_too

Charges were filed against former Interior Minister and ex-PM Vano Merabishvili, now UNM Secretary General, in connection to Sandro Girgvliani's murder case. Prosecutors accused Merabishvili of a series of premeditated actions aimed at covering up evidence in an attempt to obstruct the establishment of the truth into Girgvliani's murder.

The 2013 United National Exams

06/27/2013
The_2013_united_national_exams

The United National Exams started with an exam in Georgian Language and Literature. Up to 42,000 people were registered for the exams, which was the largest number since the National Exams were introduced in Georgia in 2005.

United National Movement Presidential primaries

06/30/2013
United_national_movement_presidential_primaries

UNM announced Zurab Japaridze, Giorgi Baramidze, Shota Malashkhia and Davit Bakradze as its participants for the Presidential Primaries, through which UNM will select a presidential candidate for the October 2013 elections. The first round of primaries held in Kutaisi was won by Davit Bakradze, Leader of the Parliamentary minority.