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Giorgi Masrgvelashvili at the international conference Georgia’s European Way, June 14, 2018. Photo: facebook.com/PresidentMargvelashvili

President Margvelashvili Comments on PM’s Resignation

President Giorgi Margvelashvili commented on Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s resignation at the international conference – Georgia’s European Way – in Batumi on June 14, calling on the ruling Georgian Dream party to nominate the party founder and leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili, to the post of the Prime Minister.

President Margvelashvili stressed in his remarks that out of four leaders whom he had worked with, he had “the most comfortable working relations” with Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who had “clearly defined and understandable visions about his duties and the country’s development path.”

“I cannot say that the Georgian economy and prosperity of Georgian citizens are at the highest level, but I cannot say that Kvirikashvili’s efforts were unsuccessful either,” Margvelashvili noted, adding that the steps undertaken by Kvirikashvili’s government “should not be assessed as unsuccessful and negative.”

The Georgian President also noted that he raised economic problems in his annual parliamentary address last month, but “received total rejection” from the ruling party. “All of a sudden, the UNICEF survey made it clear for the government that indeed there are problems in the economy,” he quipped.

The President then noted that “against this background it was absolutely unclear” why the public discontent over the problems in the judiciary were left “unanswered” by the authorities.

“For about a month, the Georgian society has been expressing its firm stance on problems in the judiciary; but, we are presented with a new version of the reality today – as if, considering the UNICEF survey, Giorgi Kvirikashvili failed to implement effective economic policies and resigned because of that,” he underscored.

The President then called for clarity over the prime ministerial appointments, saying the process needs to be more “predictable.” “I believe that this masquerade of sudden prime ministerial reshuffles should end; the principles they are selected by is unclear both for our society and our foreign partners.” he added.

“If we want to be part of Europe and establish a European country, where prime ministers are leaders of ruling parties, then Bidzina Ivanishvili as the leader of the ruling party should assume the prime ministerial position,” Margvelashvili stressed. “This is how a European political culture is formed.”

Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze responded to Margvelashvili at the same conference, saying the President’s statements were “not serious.” “Georgia is a parliamentary republic and cabinet reshuffles in parliamentary republics is a normal, healthy process.”

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

The Georgian media first reported Kvirikashvili’s possible resignation two days ago, following his reported disagreement with Bidzina Ivanishvili at the party leadership meeting that day. The Georgian Dream lawmakers and government officials, however, were either denying it as a rumor or responding that they merely discussed UNICEF’s recently-published Welfare Monitoring Survey.

This post is also available in: Georgian Russian

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