November 20th was Bidzina Ivanishvili's last day as prime minister. He has been replaced by the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Irakli Gharibashvili.
P.S. from Ivanishvili
By Tatia Megeneishvili
Friday, November 22
Human rights, European values, joining the Euro-Atlantic spheres, having the U.S. as its strategic partner, the regulation of relations with Russia are among the issues Ivanishvili wants to promote from the civil sector.
The day after parliament approved the new cabinet, Ivanishvili published an open letter with the title P.S. on his official Facebook page, where he answered questions about his retirement. The question remains: is Ivanishvili going to govern the country from the civil sector?
From the moment he entered the Georgian political sphere in October 2011, Ivanishvili promised he would only stay in politics for two or three years. He kept his promise, despite the urging of many people from the Georgian Dream coalition.
Ivanishvili claims he wanted to be consistent. “I said that I would retire in two-three years. Two years and two months have already passed. Where have you seen such a consistent politician? Give me an example from history… I have no other interests, except of the development and advancement of my country. Everybody knows that I do not have any business in Georgia and do not intend to have in the future. What other motivation could I possibly have?" Ivanishvili wrote stressing that transparency is a major facet of his life.
Ivanishvili repeated that he is not running away from the political arena but rather wanted to step down once he had helped create a strong team. Ivanishvili claims that citizenship in a free country is more valuable to him than all his money.
The outgoing prime minister said he will be an active and influential member of the civil society sector and will ensure that the Georgian government is accountable.
According to Ivanishvili, he met with the former President Mikheil Saakshvili, when the country was governed by the United National Movement (UNM). “It was Saakashvili’s wish that I meet with him and his team and give them advice. No one accused me of anything then and if someone from the new government asks for advice I will do the same without any hidden motives.” Ivanishvili stated.
The Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure, David Narmania, said he will be glad to hear advice from the former prime minister. According to the Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance, Sozar Subari, Prime Minister Ivanishvili did not interfere in the work of his ministers.
According to political analyst Soso Tsikarishvili, accepting advice from the civil sector is normal and healthy.
UNM member Gigi Tsereteli said that not much has been changed during the year of Georgian Dream’s governance. “I can even say that in terms of the economy the situation has gotten worse, business is dead and no family has a better standard of living." Tsereteli stated.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze commented about the upcoming Vilnius Summit. She said many things have improved since last year's parliamentary elections, including the country’s foreign affairs. Panjikidze said Georgia is in a better state than it was under the UNM government and signing the document in Vilnius will be proof of this.