Politicians have been reacting to the resignation of the Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, who led the cabinet since June 2018. Bakhtadze announced his resignation via his official Facebook page on Monday, September 2 saying that he has accomplished his “mission” of laying the framework for country’s strategic development.
Below is a compilation of some of the quotes from the President, the ruling party and the opposition on Bakhtadze’s resignation.
Salome Zurabishvili – the President of Georgia: “Usually one does not pass a judgement on the resignation. This is his [Bakhtadze’s] own decision. As for selection of the new Prime Minister, we should wait and see, I personally am waiting [for the new PM’s nomination]. In general, I think that the presidents do not comment on the issues of domestic politics while travelling abroad. I need to return [to Georgia], understand what is happening, and only after that I can make a statement with my opinion on the matter. I cannot comment on hypothetical decisions [regarding the new PM]…It would also not be correct [from my side] to pass a judgement on PM Bakhtadze’s actions and work, [because that] needs to be evaluated by the Georgian political elite and the political parties. Tomorrow will be the right time to make comments.”
The Ruling Party
Archil Talakvadze – Parliament Speaker: “For Georgian Dream members holding an office is not a goal in itself… for none of the [GD] team members. And it is natural, that when the country and the society need changes, these changes do happen. The changes used to happen before and the changes are happening now. As for Mr Mamuka Bakhtadze, his work significantly contributed to implementation of the government programme as well as our [party’s] political programme. I would like to thank him for that. I think Mr Bakhtadze offered comprehensive answer[s] during his meeting with the media today, clarifying his vision. This [resignation] was his own decision and, of course, he is the one who can explain his decision the best.”
Anri Okhanashvili – Chairman of Parliament’s Legal Issues Committee: “Mr Mamuka Bakhtadze is a dignified member of our team, he will remain our team member and I would like to wish to him the best of luck… The work that Mamuka Bakhtadze has done is impossible not to undervalue. Indeed, there are challenges, the issues that need to be addressed, new blood, new changes, new ideas are required and this is exactly what I am looking forward to see from the new prime ministerial candidate.”
Kakha Kaladze – Tbilisi Mayor, GD General Secretary: “In the first place, I would like to thank Mamuka for the work that he has done throughout [his tenure]… As for the candidates [for the PM], the society will know the new nominee for the prime ministerial position tomorrow. As for the candidates to lead other ministries, this is to be decided by the [newly nominated] PM.”
Roman Gotsiridze – the United National Movement: “All of this serves the sole purpose – [for Ivanishvili] to keep the power. Of course, ousting the nominal PM Bakhtadze also serves this purpose. His words “I resigned” are ridiculous. You did not resign, you were ousted. You have not been asked [your opinion] when you became the PM, and in the same manner you have not been asked whether you wanted to resign or not. So this is how the human beings are shuffled back and forth like dolls [by Ivanishvili]. And if the rumour about [Interior Minister] Gakharia assuming the prime ministerial role will turn out to be true, this will be the direct indication that Georgia is governed not by the local [Georgian] government, but by Russia.”
Sergi Kapanadze – European Georgia: “We all understand that Mr Bakhtadze’s resignation has not been his decision, as it was not his decision to serve as Prime Minister. This was the decision made by [Bidzina] Ivanishvili. This is the Prime Minister that will not be remembered in Georgian history at all, [either positively or negatively]. He did nothing… And it comes as no surprise, since [it is] Ivanishvili [who] takes the decisions. Now, important question is who will assume the prime ministerial role, not because Ivanishvili is capable of changing anything to the better in this country, but so that we can understand, whether Ivanishvili will dare to appoint [Interior Minister] Gakharia [as PM]… If he does that, this will be the sign he is absolutely inadequate.”
Davit Usupashvili – Development Movement: “He [Bakhtadze] said he left us a successful development strategy, a framework, and that he resigns having his duty completed, that we will witness the results of this strategy’s fruition. [He says] this, because there are not many [results] to talk about anyway.”
Eka Beselia – Independent MP, Party For Justice founder : “The frequent decisions to change the head of the government, changing several Prime Ministers within one parliamentary term means [political] instability and not a serious attitude towards the programme that the parliament approves alongside the government. We see that the government reshuffle takes place in a manner that the media needs to guess who will replace who… This indicates, that within the ruling party there is no discussion leading to deliberated decisions. This is a sign of the crisis of governance, that the same day, when they discuss changing of the PM, the parliamentary majority is not aware of what other changes might follow.”