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Republicans and Tsulukiani remain a part of coalition

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, November 7
The Republican Party remains in the Georgian Dream. Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani made a decision on November 5 not to quit her post. After speaking with Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, two deputies of former Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze – Tamar Beruchashvili and Davit Jalaghania– will retain their posts as well. Gharibashvili stated that he would appoint a new a minister of foreign affairs and a state minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration in the coming days.

“Everything will be better than ever before,” Gharibashvili assures, in an effort to dispel speculation over possible changes in Georgia’s foreign policy course.

Following the detention of several employees at the Ministry of Defense, former Minister Irakli Alasania stated that Georgia’s European orientation was at risk. The statement resulted in his dismissal. Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili, who is Alasania’s team member resigned after Alasania was sacked. Georgia’s Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze also followed suit, and made a statement concerning her resignation along with her three deputies.

After these developments, Alasania decided to attend the coalition’s Political Council sitting and discuss the country’s future there. However, according to him, the discussion failed and he stressed that Bidzina Ivanishvili was leading the meeting. As such, the Free Democrats chaired by Alasania left the coalition on November 5.

Speaking about Alasania after the Political Council meeting, Gharibashvili mentioned him in a very negative context and stated that very soon the public would hear very “shameful” things about the former minister.

Thea Tsulukiani, who had been a member of Free Democrats but left the party after she was appointed as a minister of Justice, was thought to have resigned. However, she decided to remain on her post. Tsulukiani says that both Bidzina Ivanishvili and Irakli Gharibashvili made invaluable contributions to the implementation of Georgia’s European choice.

Former Minister for European and Euro Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili commented that the time when the government expresses desire to work out why they were moved with such a strong desire to attack the Defense Ministry will come soon. He stressed that the Free Democrats will be active in politics. Viktor Dolidze, from Alasania’s team, stated that Alasania was holding very important meetings in France and Germany that would have promoted the country much. “We have done our best for the country. Gharibashvili has moved the situation into a personal rivalry, when he should be looking for traitors in the Prosecutor’s Office,” Dolidze said.

Analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili has stated that there might be significant connections between Alasania’s very important visits to Germany and France (when the ministry employees were detained) and a very profitable possible cooperation with the states that might be sabotaged by the detentions and the dismissal of the minister. The analyst believes that the current developments in the county are only in the interests of the Kremlin. The analyst also has reservations about new Minister of Defense Mindia Janelidze and appeals to the public to show interest in his former activities in the intelligence service and in the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

Fellow analyst Mamuka Areshidze doubts there is a hidden agenda within the coalition. He states that Alasania did not provide any argument as to why the county’s course is at risk.

“I would like to listen to his version of the current situation,” Areshidze said.