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Livecast | Levan Tsutskiridze, Freedom Square

On July 1, Levan Tsutskiridze announced the formation of a new political movement, “Freedom Square.” The movement’s manifesto pledges it to be an open, democratic platform for “protecting Georgia’s national interests and achieving Georgia’s historic goal.” According to the manifesto, the movement will unify “patriotic, professional, and honest citizens for freedom and democracy.”

Jaba Devdariani, soliciting editor of sat down with Levan Tsutskiridze in a new livecast series, “Persona” to talk about the movements’ identity, values, and plans.

Below are Levan Tsutskiridze’s responses to our “political compass” questions.

  1. Whatever happens, you won’t collaborate with the Georgian Dream government, yes or no? – Yeah, we won’t. No.
  2. Vetting of the judges, yes or no? – I think it’s important. Yes.
  3. If GD goes in October, should civil servants they appointed be vetted, yes or no? – It depends, I think it depends on which civil servants and on which level, but definitely, we need to look it deeper into civil service reform.
  4. Obligatory free school lunches for all public school kids, yes or no? – I think every kid deserves a proper healthy lunch.
  5. Are women’s quotas on party lists useful in advancing women in politics? – Yes.
  6. Should Gay Pride events be allowed to be freely held in Tbilisi? – I think no one should be forced to leave the country based on who thas person is and we should have a proper peaceful and democratic debate about every other issue that merits discussion and conversation. 
  7. Should Russian immigrants face stricter visa policies? – Yes.
  8. Talk with Sokhumi and Tskhinvali before de-occupation, useful or not? – No, I think we should work to have a new policy on how we re-engage with our citizens who live in occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
  9. Do you believe that pro-business economic policies will, ultimately, benefit all of us? – Yes, but I think the government has a role to play in helping right some of the wrongs that are structural in the Georgian economy. 
  10. Is land a commodity to be freely bought and sold? – Depends.
  11. Should official public spaces, schools, municipalities, etc. be free of conspicuous religious symbols? – I think so.
  12. The education system should focus on giving students the necessary tools to find employment rather than shaping them ideologically. – Yes. I think especially parties or any other ideology should not be the part of the educational curricula.
  13. State ownership of the media is undesirable and should be combatted. – At this moment, maybe yes, but I believe in the idea of a Public Broadcaster.
  14. In criminal justice, punishment should be more important than rehabilitation. – Maybe equally both.
  15. Multinational companies are unethically exploiting developing countries. – I think we can see the cases when not only multi-nationals but also other types of companies are doing the same. So, human rights should be protected for everybody regardless of what companies are involved. 
  16. Morality is fundamentally based on religious principles. – Religious principles play a very important part in politics.
  17. Charity is better than social security as a means of helping the genuinely disadvantaged. – I don’t see them as things that contradict each other. I see them both are playing an important part.
  18. What goes on in a private bedroom between consenting adults is no business of the state. – Of course.
  19. Taxpayers should not be expected to support any theatres or museums that cannot survive on a commercial basis. – Not quite, because I think culture and art are something that we cannot leave to the fate of market forces alone. So, there is a role for the government to play then…But it should never be used as a tool for political influence. 
  20. New Immigrants of other ethnicities or religions can never be fully integrated into Georgia. – No, I don’t believe so.
  21. Abortion should always remain legal – I think we should ask for the opinion of women about issue more and not men, like it too often happens now.
  22. All authority should be questioned. – Always.


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