The messenger logo

To leave or not to leave?

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, June 25
Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili believes that after the presidential elections there will be a different political environment in the country and the government will not need his assistance. Ivanishvili made the statement after various speculations over his words that he intends to leave politics after the presidential elections in October 2013. However, the PM emphasized that he will not go anywhere if he is needed.

“I will leave politics if there is no need for me [at that point] and I will get involved in a more complicated field. I will take active steps in the development of civil society. After the presidential elections there will be radically different situation in the country,” Ivanishvili stated.

According to the presidential candidate of the Georgian Dream, Giorgi Margvelashvili, the government is currently discussing the candidates who might replace Ivanishvili. However, Margvelashvili refrained from providing more details on the issue. Members of the Georgian Dream also claim that Ivanishvili will not leave politics until he fulfils all the promises he made to the people.

Member of the Parliamentary minority United National Movement (UNM), Shota Malashkhia, thinks that Ivanishvili is trying to escape from a hard situation in the country to save his money.

Non-parliamentary opposition representative, Kakha Kukava, stated that if Ivanishvili really leaves politics, snap parliamentary elections should be held. Representative of non-parliamentary New Rights, Pikria Chikhradze, stresses that Ivanishvili should not leave politics until the promises of the coalition are fulfilled. She also believes that Ivanishvili's future replacement will be the current Interior Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili.

US Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland, is sure that the PM will leave politics when there is political stability in the country.

Editor in Chief of Tabula magazine, Tamar Chergoleishvili, believes that the PM will leave politics formally and rule the country from civil sector informally.

Publicist, Vasil Maghlaperidze, considers that Ivanishvili’s decision to step out from politics will be a sign of his victory. “Ivanishvili thinks that by the time the elections roll around, the systemic transformation of the country will have been accomplished. He will not go if there is not such situation inside Georgia he is fighting for,” Maghlaperidze said, adding that until he leaves, Ivanishvili should solve two problems. “First is related to the institute of the Prime Minister and the second problem is a parliament that does not meet public demands,” Maghlaperidze suggested.

Political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze mentioned that if Ivanishvili leaves politics earlier, his current achievements might be destroyed and the UNM might try attempt a rebirth.

The analyst also thinks that the future replacement named by might be unacceptable for a coalition that consists of several different parties.

“Currently there is no stronger figure than Ivanishvili for the preservation of the unity of the coalition,” Sakvarelidze stated.