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Talks over PM's replacement launched

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, September 4
When Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili might quit his post and who will be left as his successor is currently unknown. The Georgian Dream coalition states that discussions over his possible replacement has not been launched yet. Several analysts also claim that Ivanishvili’s resignation might enable the resurgence of UNM.

"I have expressed my attitude several times that it would be acceptable if Ivanishvili left his position only after there is a settled situation in the country. However, the PM wants to move to a weak sector to encourage it… I think that the coalition will work as a united group and no one will leave the coalition until the election promises are fulfilled” Justice Minister, Thea Tsulukiani stated.

“The new prime minister should be interested in working with me and I should also be interested in working with him,” Tsulukiani said.

The minister did not exclude that negotiations over the replacement of the PM are already underway. However, she had no concrete information regarding the topic.

“The coalition has no candidate lined-up for the PM position and it is impossible to have it at the present moment,” Parliament Chair, Davit Usupashvili stated. He explained that PM has not yet stated about quitting his post so there is no necessity in launching such talks.

Usupashvili stated that the coalition will present the PM candidate after Ivanishvili quits and a new government will be formed under the new PM.

“The current ministers will be left on their positions, however, some reshuffling cannot be excluded,” Usupashvili said.

The parliamentary minority has already accused the PM of running from politics. The UNM presidential candidate, Davit Bakradze, emphasized that the PM’s resignation includes risks and a decision-making deficit might be created in the country.

“There is a hard economic situation in the country. Election promises have not been fulfilled. The uniting link of the government is Bidzina Ivanishvili. There are various parties in the coalition that when Ivanishvili leaves politics, making decisions might become harder by the different parties without the leader,” Bakradze said.

Analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili thinks that Ivanishvili and public take the current situation in a different way.

“It would be more welcomed by me if Ivanishvili left politics after snap parliamentary elections, as the current parliament is distanced from the recent state situation and carries certain risks. As soon as some members of the coalition leave the Georgia Dream there will emerge risks of the UNM returning back to the majority,” Tsiskarishvili said.

Tsiskarishvili thinks that Ivanishvili's possible replacement might be current minister of economy, Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

Analyst, Khatuna Lagazidze states that the risks concerning Ivanishvili’s quitting are exaggerated. She said that the existence of one decision-making center in the country has always created problems and obstacles for state development.

“I think that Ivanishvili’s leaving is a chance both for the political spectrum and the civil sector to get involved in the decision-making process,” Lagazidze said.

Founder of the NGO Georgia’s Reforms Association, Elene Khoshtaria, claimed that Ivanishvili’s decision to move to the civil sector “is an attempt of ruling the political process from behind the scenes.”