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Strange face of Georgian cohabitation

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, August 15
Cohabitation in Georgia seems to be failing. The leaders of the country, President Mikheil Saakashvili and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, who represent two different forces, don’t tolerate each other and it is becoming visible to the public.

At a reception on board of the United States Navy Destroyer USS Bulkeley the two Georgian leaders accused each other in betraying the country’s interests.

The incident started with verbal polemics between the two officials. Later in his speech, President Saakashvili deviated from the protocol of such receptions and instead gave an aggressive speech denying Georgia’s responsibilities in the War of 2008. On this, Ivanishvili remarked that not Georgia but Saakashvili himself personally is responsible.

In fact, the president’s speech was not appropriate for such a reception and the Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Usupashvili, later apologized because of the president’s violation of the protocol norms.

Of course this situation undermined the country’s image; in particular, revealed that in reality President Saakashvili cannot control his emotions. Such a situation, of course, does not facilitate for the country’s international image.

Commenting over the event, the US Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland, highlighted Saakashvili’s emotional attitude towards the current events in Georgia. In fact, the Ambassador’s attempts to return the reception in the normal format defined by the protocol appeared to be unsuccessful.

So, Georgia’s version of cohabitation has failed at this stage. There will be different occasions of showing the positions of the rival sides. But the major test for this will be the upcoming presidential elections.

The supporters of President Saakashvili from the United National Movement (UNM) were critical towards PM Ivanishvili’s position whereas the Georgian Dream representatives point at Saakashvili’s inappropriate behavior.