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Georgia's ex-Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, June 13, 2018. Photo: Facebook.com/KvirikashviliOfficial

In Quotes: Georgian Politicians on Kvirikashvili’s Resignation

On June 13, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced his resignation citing differences of opinion on economic matters with the ruling Georgian Dream party members, as well as the GD founder and leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Some members of the ruling Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party cited the need for “new energy” as the reason behind Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s resignation, while opposition politicians stressed his decision was due to the ongoing political “crisis” in the country.

Below is a compilation of some of the reactions from both ruling and opposition politicians on Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s resignation.

Tamar Chugoshvili – Georgian Dream: For me, what is important now is what kind of relationship the new Government will have with the Parliament. The Government has to be more accountable to the legislature. Discussions on problematic issues should be more dynamic, active and open, and should happen exactly on the parliamentary platform. If we manage to form a real, responsible parliamentary discussions and processes that will be answerable to the public, the results will be tangible in all areas. I personally will evaluate the new government under these criteria. As for the reports related to me (implying her transition to the executive branch), it is not true. I see my role and place in strengthening the Parliament, as an institution.

Mamuka Mdinaradze – Georgian Dream: Georgia needs new energy, new visions, new reforms. Although quite successful reforms have been implemented under the leadership of PM Kvirikashvili over the past years and all international experts confirm that, the team decided and Mr. Kvirikashvili agreed that new energy would probably yield more positive results for the people. The country needs more rapid development, more [growth] dynamics and for this to happen, it would be better if a new team, including the economic one, assumed the responsibility.

Levan Koberidze – Georgian Dream: We have more problems and challenges in the judiciary [than in economy], and I am sure that the incumbent and future governments, as well as the judiciary authorities and the Prosecutor’s Office should address them with more concrete steps. If we fail to achieve any significant progress to that end, then I would personally raise the issue of early parliamentary elections. There are a lot of issues that need to be discussed in the ruling team, including the issue of early elections. In my opinion, if all questions related to the judiciary are not addressed in a timely manner, the public demand for early parliamentary elections will be absolutely legitimate.

Davit Chichinadze – Georgian Dream: If the current arrangement carries on – I mean the policy of accommodation [towards banks] and a conciliatory position with our opponents (implying members of the United National Movement and the European Georgia), I think the Parliament should be dissolved and new elections should be called, because it was exactly this policy that has produced a sense of injustice in the society.

Mikheil Saakashvili – United National Movement: This is the result of public mobilization, extreme public discontent and of the fact that Georgia, in fact, has no government; the government has collapsed. It is like a headless chicken. The result of all these is described in the recent UN report, according to which the poverty level decreased twice under my presidency and increased twice under Ivanishvili. Ivanishvili’s government is on the verge of collapse. Ivanishvili, like a python, is now changing his skin, but his skin has become very thin and it has become easier to approach him. Ivanishvili is as weak now as never before, but we should not be weak. The unity of opposition forces and involvement of new people in politics is as important now as never before.

Davit Bakradze – European Georgia: The Prime Minister’s resignation has made two things clear: first, he openly declared that he resigned because of his disagreement with Bidzina Ivanishvili, who makes all decisions in this country, and second, that he spoke on the economic and other achievements confirms once again that even at the moment of resignation, the government is inadequate and cannot see the problems, the crises and the difficulties that exist in the country. Therefore, there is only one solution – and that is not changing [the ministers’] names and surnames only, but changing the entire team, which cannot advance the country forward and cannot run it decently. The team, which will further develop the country, overcome poverty and ensure stability, should come to power, through elections, peacefully.

Nino Goguadze – Free Democrats: What happened yesterday (on June 12) was that the ruling party asked Mr. Bidzina Ivanishvili to postpone Kvirikashvili’s resignation for a certain period of time so that it would not be linked to protest rallies and public discontent, and instead would be associated with economic challenges. It seems Bidzina Ivanishvili accepted the request and fulfilled it for a single day only. So, the Prime Minister resigned today and now we are in a bizarre situation; the government has resigned, but nothing has changed in the country, because the core principle of governance, which is completely tailored to Ivanishvili’s taste and desires, will remain unchanged. Such governance is undemocratic; no matter who will fill the posts in Bidzina Ivanishvili’s cabinet, he/she will have to follow the principle that Bidzina Ivanishvili rules by.

Shalva Natelashvili – Labor Party: No one and nothing will stop the force of the people. As I have already mentioned, the protests launched in solidarity with the fathers who lost their sons, and which involved immense [public] discontent towards domestic, foreign, socio-economic and other policies, have led to the beginning of the government’s collapse. This is a positive development. This is the result of our proud and restless people, but we should change the regime entirely.

Nino Burjanadze – Democratic Movement: I think this decision is linked to the protests persisting in the public and in the country in general. I believe that this is a huge victory of all those people, who want justice to be restored in the country, who want real and deep changes in the system that was maintained and further reinforced by Bidzina Ivanishvili. I believe that it was the result of public unity, and simultaneously the government’s weakness and the fact that everything is based on the desires of Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Davit Usupashvili, Development Movement: I have one advice to the chairman of the Georgian Dream party, Bidzina Ivanishvili – to assess the ongoing processes adequately and take the only right step that can be taken [in this situation] – to assume responsibility for everything. When the leader of the ruling party is not the Prime Minister – we end up having similar situations, just like we had by the end of 2015, concerning the previous Prime Minister (Irakli Garibashvili). The is the rule and law of politics – just like there are laws and rules in business and nature, politics also has its basic rules – a political party leader should openly and factually lead the government, and assume [full] responsibility for it.

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