AKHALKALAK (A-INFO)–With election campaigning underway in Georgia for upcoming parliamentary elections–politicians have stepped up visits to the predominantly Armenian-populated southern Georgian province of Javakhk.
President Eduard Shevardnadze is scheduled to visit Javakhk’s Akhalkalak district on October 23–followed by a visit on October 26 to both Akhalkalak and Ninotsminda districts–by the head of Georgia’s Ertoba political union.
Parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze and State Minister Avtandil Jorbenadze held meetings with the region’s voters earlier.
Experts in the meantime speculate that Armenia’s in Tbilisi–who have traditionally voted pro-government–will opt for opposition Democrats–let by speaker Burjanadze.
Armenia’s are outraged by the snubbing of Van Baiburdian–who was not included on any list as a candidate. Baiburdian is the most outspoken Armenian member of Georgian parliament and the editor of the Armenian language newspaper based in Tbilisi.
While Armenia’s are the second largest group in the country–only after Georgians–ethnic Osetians and many Azeris are ahead of the Armenia’s on the pro-government For New Georgia party list; Armenian representation on that list appears to be only a symbolic gesture.