Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili does not agree with the recommendation of the European Council General Secretary Walter Shwimmer to lower the 7% barrier for participation of political parties in parliament. Shwimmer, who is currently in Georgia on an official visit, recommended that the barrier be lowered to 4-5% because the parliament risks becoming a single party entity after the March 28 elections.
Yesterday, Saakashvili said that he was against lowering the 7% barrier because 'it would facilitate corruption.' He said that small opposition parties would then gain membership in parliament which would tear apart the body by lobbying for their business interests. 'They will make criminal dealings with one and other,' said Saakashvili.
48 political parties and blocks intend to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Saakashvili said, however, that not one has enough support to gain membership in parliament under the current system. In recent weeks, several of the more popular parties have united into blocks. Saakashvili's National Movement and Prime Minister Zurab Zhvaniya's Democrats will participate as one united block.
Representatives of the Israeli Defence Ministry responded to recent reports about the possible delivery of S-300 SAM systems from Russia to Syria. Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel would destroy those systems
Russia is to start supplying S-300 air defence systems to Syria in the near future. The shipments will be conducted free of charge