Party gathering of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia in Rustavi, April 2, 2018. Photo: facebook.com/KvirikashviliOfficial/
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze and Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze are touring the regions of Georgia, meeting with activists of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party and engaging them on GDDG government’s achievements and future reform plans.
The three leaders were in the eastern Georgian towns of Rustavi and Telavi, after meetings in Gori, Akhaltsikhe and Mtskheta last Saturday. Similar gatherings will be convened in the five remaining regional centers across the country, to be followed with a party convention in Tbilisi (exact date not known yet).
Giorgi Kvirikashvili: Stability for Development
In his remarks at the meetings, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili focused on the infrastructure, economic and social projects carried out or planned to be implemented in the respective regions, pledging to work for ensuring the prosperity of “every family,” and stressing the need for maintaining stability to that end.
“We realize that the country needs stable development for few more years, so that every family feels the results of the implemented projects,” PM Kvirikashvili told the party activists on April 2 in Rustavi.
“Our foreign and internal policies serve the purpose of reunifying the country, making its economic development irreversible and reaching the level of development of [EU’s] Eastern European countries through maintaining stability on the one hand, and pursuing consistent foreign policy on the other,” he noted.
PM Kvirikashvili stressed the message in his earlier addresses as well. “I would like to note from the very beginning that what we do, is not enough for securing that everyone feels economically prosperous, but I would [also] like to stress that the path that we have chosen, will lead us to that cherished goal,” he said in Akhaltsikhe.
“Of course, we know that the work that we have carried out is not sufficient for ensuring prosperity of every family, but I want our party activists to be proud of what we have done, to be proud since the Georgian Dream is the only political force capable of leading the country out of a vicious circle and of taking real steps for reunifying the country,” PM Kvirikashvili said in Gori.
The Prime Minister spoke on other issues as well, telling GDDG activists in Telavi that de-occupation and reunification was “a number one priority.” “We are convinced that despite challenges, grave provocations and very high security risks, we will achieve long-term stability and peace through our pragmatic and balanced policies,” he said, adding that this policy would never “compromise the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
PM Kvirikashvili stressed the necessity of strengthening GDDG’s regional representations as well, saying this was “a crucial objective.” “I think, the party needs to especially intensify its work with respect to the young people,” he noted in Mtskheta.
Irakli Kobakhidze: Reforms for Electoral Success
In his remarks, Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze recalled the Georgian Dream coalition’s democratic “breakthrough” in the 2012 parliamentary elections, vowing to continue strengthening democracy and party reforms.
“When Bidzina Ivanishvili announced his plans to enter politics, many were skeptical whether it would be possible to change the then ruling party and to establish democratic governance, but under the leadership of Bidzina Ivanishvili and your support, the objective was successfully fulfilled, and now, the country continues advancing on every front,” Kobakhidze said in Mtskheta, listing “democracy, freedom and human rights protection” among GDDG’s major post-2012 successes.
“Our goal is not only to safeguard this great achievement that we have obtained in 2012, but to strengthen it more, to strengthen the level of democracy and human rights protection in our country,” the Parliament Speaker told the party activists in Akhaltsikhe.
Irakli Kobakhidze spoke on the United National Movement as well, saying the opposition party was no longer “a threat to Georgian democracy.” “One of our objectives [for the parliamentary polls in 2016] was to neutralize this threat, and now, we can say without hesitation that this objective was met entirely,” he stated in Gori.
Kobakhidze also stated that he was convinced the ruling party would obtain decisive victory in the upcoming presidential polls, adding that the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia would undergo “a second wave of reforms” in the period leading to the next parliamentary polls in 2020.
“[The reforms] will transform the Georgian Dream into a European party, which won’t be active in the electoral period only, but will be closely involved in the policy planning and management between elections,” the Parliament Speaker said in Telavi.