In Quotes: Political Reactions to Zurabishvili’s Parliamentary Address

In a lengthy annual address to the Parliament, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili today slammed the ruling Georgian Dream and opposition parties. The speech triggered mixed reactions from the Georgian politicians. compiled some of these remarks: 

Georgian Dream Party reactions:

MP Irakli Kobakhidze, GD chair: “If what the President said is true [about paying visits to Paris and Brussels without agreeing with the government] and most likely, she told the truth, then she has violated the constitution. We will find it out.

MP Mamuka Mdinaradze, GD parliamentary faction chair:
“There were a lot of points we agree with. Calls for unity are very good, but there is also a skeptical side to it, as we see people in Georgia who act against their own country. So, can we suppose that their TV channels will change their behavior following your address and talk differently? […] Do we have, at least, a one percent guarantee that this will happen? Unfortunately, we do not. […] It is an unfortunate circumstance that we find it difficult to share this very good call for unity.”

MP Aluda Gudushauri, GD: “We heard a lot of unreasonable criticism from the President. For me, this is very regrettable because it seems the President was directly or indirectly bullied by the United National Movement. This is a fact. Her statements and the veracity of the facts mentioned, should be examined, naturally.”

Opposition reactions

MP Levan Bezhashvili, the United National Movement: “We listened to an important address by the President… This was indeed a fine address… The tasks she outlined should be jointly carried out by the government and the opposition… We cannot agree with the President in many aspects, especially about the criticism of the opposition. Madam President, we all have committed our own sins, but at this stage, it is not important to talk about the sin. […] If the country faces the threat of destruction, our views no longer matter. […] We need national accord, unity in front of challenges faced by our country today.”

MP Teona Akubardia, Strategy Agmashenebeli: “[This was] yet another opportunity for all of us to understand that the country faces insurmountable threats. Today, the country’s sovereignty is actually at stake as Russia carries out aggression against Ukraine, and our domestic confrontation harms the country’s interests.”

Giorgi Gakharia, former Prime Minister, For Georgia party chair: “Grateful to the President of Georgia [Salome Zurabishvili] for her leadership in this challenging times for Georgia [and] its future. Grateful for [her] representing the will of Georgian citizens [and] restoring national self-esteem. Once again, its time for unity around national interests of [Georgia].”

Mamuka Khazaradze, Lelo party chair: “The President voiced important initiatives, a great part of which is fully harmonized with our positions. We are ready to work with the President on implementing these initiatives.”

Giga Bokeria, European Georgia chair: “We listened to President Zurabishvili who talked as if she is from a different planet, is above all and is not part of local political processes. […] This person, who today condemns polarization and blames everyone except for herself, was the person who blamed her own country for beginning the [August 2008] war, carried out anti-NATO propaganda, co-authored the shameful campaign around David Gareji [monastery complex], was elected as the President of Georgia through bloody banners and vote buying. This is that person, but she does not say anything about her crimes or mistakes.”

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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