Former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili, who addressed congress of Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party for the last time in his capacity of party’s honorary chairman on Sunday, said that he’s quitting the politics, but will remain “one of the most active citizens” to keep the government under scrutiny.
GDDG, the party which Ivanishvili founded after he entered into politics two years ago, elected new PM Irakli Garibashvili as its chairman at the congress on November 24 in Tbilisi. Energy Minister, Kakha Kaladze, became party’s secretary general.
Ivanishvili said that Garibashvili stood beside him from the very first day of his entry into politics and did not step back even when his relative was arrested to mount pressure on him.
“Therefore I am convinced that there is no one who can better lead the party,” he said.
On GDDG’s new secretary general, Kakha Kaladze, he said: “He is distinguished by his talent and sense of responsibility.”
“So I am leaving the party in reliable hands,” Ivanishvili said.
“Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia should not turn into a party merged with the state institutions,” he said. “I would like our party to be the unity of people with shared values and ideology.”
In his speech Ivanishvili said that two years ago he united “the best part of Georgian political spectrum” and “brought democratic forces into power.”
“I have kept my promise – Georgia is free from violent regime, the state institutions are free from pressure, Georgia has the President, Giorgi Margvelashvili, who will defend interests of everyone and who will be the President of everyone; Georgia has the Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Usupashvili, who is one of the distinguished politicians of our time; Georgia has the Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, who together with the government, I am sure, will get Georgia back on its feet,” he said.
“That was my task and I have accomplished it. That’s why I quit Prime Minister’s post and now I am quitting politics too… I am quitting the politics, but I remain an active citizen,” he said.
“I promise that for at least next twenty years I will put my energy, knowledge and experience in the service of getting my homeland on its feet. I will support any government, which will serve the people,” Ivanishvili said, adding that he will give his advice if asked for and will not hold back in criticism of anyone whenever needed.
“I will not get tired by reminding to those who are in power that the government should serve the people and not vice versa, that we need laws to secure more freedom and not for imposing more restrictions,” he said.
“I will spare no effort for us to become progressive society. The society is strong and it is reckoned with only when it is progressive. That’s my Georgian dream. We will be progressive society of the democracy country,” Ivanishvili said.
After the congress, Ivanishvili told journalists that he needs two or three months to elaborate in details what concrete he plans to do.
He also said in his address to the congress of GDDG: “We’ve made a miracle over the past one year; we have proven to everyone that we are a civilized nation, committed to the European values.”
“Over the past one year we have destroyed a myth that this country would have turned its back to Europe and the democracy would have been buried by departure of the [United] National [Movement party from power]. Everyone, both here and abroad, know that it was a lie and that democracy was illusionary during nine years, that talk of democratic achievements served only to delude the West,” he said.
“With the October 27 presidential election we have eventually put an end to authoritarian regime, which was built on lies and violence,” Ivanishvili added.
At the congress, GDDG downsized its political council, the main governing body of the party, from 21 to 13 members. It includes the party chairman and PM Garibashvili, as well as Kakha Kaladze; Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri; Secretary of National Security Council Irina Imerlishvili; MP Giorgi Volski; MP Manana Kobakhidze; MP Eka Beselia; MP Tamaz Avdaliania; GD parliamentary majority leader, MP Davit Saganelidze; MP Irakli Tripolski; MP Irakli Sesiashvili; MP Temur Tchkuaseli and party’s executive secretary Armaz Akhvlediani.