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PM tries to rescue government’s image

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, December 11
The recent staff reshuffle in the government that saw the firing of 8 officials, has created speculation in the country. Some analysts and politicians believe that this is a sign of a government crisis and the initiator of the changes was founder of the Georgian Dream coalition Bidzina Ivanishvili. There was also speculation over the possible resignation of the Prime Minister. In response, Gharibashvili held an urgent briefing, denying any dismissals within the cabinet.

One of the first who criticized the current PM was former Minister of Defense Irakli Alasania. The latter stressed that Ivanishvili and not Gharibashvili runs the country.

Alasania suggested that Ivanishvili stop running the country from behind the scenes and take responsibility for the government.

“When foreigners, especially potential investors, see that the Prime Minister is a nominal figure and some other person makes decisions instead of him, the situation affects the country’s image and economy,” Alasania said.

The same statement was made by former Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze. She stressed that none of the 8 individuals were ministers. However, they held important posts and were major levers for Gharibashvili. “The reshuffle is a personal crisis of the Prime Minister and the government,” she said.

The Prime Minister stressed that the changes were part of a “normal, working process.”

“I do not divide minister staff …We are the united team,” Gharibashvili said.

“I want to calm those who hypocritically worry about the recent changes. I am standing steadily and everything will be all right,” Gharibahsvili said.

Gharibashvili’s statements might put a halt to the ongoing speculation over his resignation.

Commenting on the accusations that he is merely a figurehead and that Ivanishvili is the one wielding power, Gharibashvili dismissed the claims and underlined that he only calls Ivanishvili when he himself decides it and asks him advice.

“Ivanishvili is not involved in the country’s governance. I have never hidden that in some cases I might call him and explore his opinion regarding certain topics. This is a normal process taking place in any country,” Gharibahsvili said.