The ruling party and opposition representatives assessed the recent interview of Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party, with pro-governmental Imedi TV on November 27.
Civil.ge offers you these assessments.
Ruling party assessments
Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister: “What I understood and what was important … is that Mr. Ivanishvili frankly and openly answered the questions accumulated in the society. Most important for me was when he stressed how difficult it is to rule the country successfully through protection of democratic institutions, democratic procedures. This is the challenge and obligation, which we should fulfill. It is easy to rule the country, when you use the tools at disposal illegally, forcefully; it is difficult to rule the country in an absolutely democratic, free environment, where media is free, freedom of expression faces no threats, where we have such degree of democracy and freedom of expression that some people perceive storming the Parliament as freedom of expression. Let me emphasize again that the goals we saw in this interview are absolutely clear to me.”
Tea Tsulukiani, Deputy Prime Minister, Justice Minister: “It is very good that this interview was held… we once again heard that our future political life is just the elections of 2020 under mixed system as prescribed by the constitution… So, instead of running in the streets, it is better to get ready for the elections. The interview showed who Bidzina Ivanishvili is. He is the person who has no private interests for staying where he is now. He is the person for whom quick development of the Georgian state is a priority under its current conditions – occupation, economic problems and number one problem, employment. He discussed all these issues comprehensively during the interview.”
Maia Tskitishvili, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure: “What we heard yesterday was a very in-depth, necessary analysis and of course, I understand that opposition leaders do not like such analysis, but I am sure that it is very important for the population of our country to listen to such analysis from the party leader.”
Irakli Garibashvili, Defense Minister: “Mr. Ivanishvili frankly answered all the questions the society is concerned with, as well as responded to all absurd allegations and defamation from the most radical, destructive and extremist opposition.”
Natia Turnava, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development: “The interview with the party chairman was very deep and it was a very frank analysis. In my opinion, many questions were answered and his analysis contained answers towards those politicians, who with their radicalism, try to cause destruction to the present development. For me, as for the Economy Minister, the part about employment was especially important, because actually, employment is the key priority of our government.”
Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Agriculture: “Mr. Ivanishvili spoke very frankly about the developments in the country. It was an in-depth analysis, his forecasts have frequently became true.”
Ivane Machavariani, Finance Minister: “You probably watched the yesterday’s interview with Bidzina Ivanishvili, where he said that if the demand for proportional elections was the demand of the entire society, this society will come to elections and give [Georgian Dream] an answer. But [if] it is vital only for a small team, which is in the streets now, then it will remain vital for [just] them.”
Kakha Kaladze, Secretary General of Georgian Dream: “All questions were answered comprehensively and Bidzina Ivanishvili made assessments about the developments in the country.”
Irakli Kobakhidze, Executive Secretary of Georgian Dream: “Bidzina Ivanishvili’s interview demonstrated the picture existing in our country and this picture was absolutely accurate. That is why we were listening to nervous comments from the National Movement – they looked in the mirror.”
Zaal Udumashvili, National Movement: “Yesterday, we watched the interview with Bidzina Ivanishvili, who was very frightened and as we guessed, he is most of all afraid of people’s protest, people’s loud statements.”
Giga Bokeria, European Georgia:
“If you let this man speak for a long time, he, as a rule, says almost everything what he has in his dangerously arranged head and what is dangerous for the country… If there are any sober-minded honest people in this country, who still doubt that removing this man from the government is a national task, watching this interview would be enough to see the problems caused to the country due to this man…Yesterday’s interview reminded me of those Soviet era TV stories and interviews with Soviet leaders, that were exotic, from dark times, yet funny and tragic simultaneously… Years will pass and we will be shown this shameful interview as an exotic example of shameful situation in Georgia years ago.”
Shalva Natelashvili, Labor Party: “Yesterday, the world saw the interview with bankrupted, inadequate, instable dictator, from which we can make the only conclusion that nothing will help this government except for resigning. So, they can do the only thing – to hold proportional elections and close the door.”