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Former PM: Republicans cannot hide their support for Irakli Alasania

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, February 17
Georgia’s former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili spoke about the major domestic challenges in his recent interview for the Kviris Palitra newspaper. The former PM, who is frequently accused of informally running the country, made statements concerning several notorious cases, criticized the Free Democrats and Republicans and commented on a speculated alliance between former Defence Minister, leader of Free Democrats Irakli Alasania and Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili.

Ivanishvili emphasized that the Prosecutor’s Office is fair and transparent in its actions, while some politicians try to politicize various criminal cases.

“The Free Democrats claim that the Defense Ministry individuals arrested for misspending the budgetary funds under Irakli Alasania being in office are innocent. However, they just make verbal statements without any evidence that the Prosecutor’s Office made a mistake. The party has not demanded the creation of a parliamentary commission on the issue. The Republicans, who cannot hide their support for Alasania, have not initiated such a commission either,” Ivanishvili said.

When it came to Iuri Vazagashvili’s and late Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania’s cases, Ivanishvili stressed that he was waiting for the opening of the Zhvania’s case.

“The public believes that Zhvania was killed. The suspicion is natural taking into consideration the former administration’s working style… It is obvious that somebody is very afraid of opening the case and the current hysteria on the Rustavi 2 TV channel with regard to the former PM’s sexual orientation, aims at hindering the investigation process and recovering the Iuri Vazagashvili murder case,” Ivanishvili said.

Regarding Vazagashvili, Ivanishvili praised the Prosecutor’s Office for a swift opening of the case and accused several politicians of making irresponsible statements.

“Some of the politicians have stated that it was a very negative fact that a policeman was arrested for Iuri Vazagashvili’s murder. It was not a reasonable response, as policemen might commit crimes in any country, Georgia is not an exception,” Ivanishvili said.

Ivanishvili once again blamed President Margvelashvili in triggering the controversy, stressing that the latter could solve the issues related to the new chairman of the Supreme Court.

Concerning the speculation concerning a possible alliance between Margvelashvili and Alasania, Ivanishvili said that the Georgian political spectrum should be diverse.

“However, everyone should set the state interests before his own goals,” Ivanishvili said.

Ivanishvili reiterated that the Georgian Dream government has reacted to the current economic and political challenges adequately. However, the lack of coordination within the ruling team was also obvious.

Ivanishvili stressed that the opposition United National Movement wishes to create a mess in the country. Nevertheless, they have no levers to provoke any unrest.

United National Movement member Giga Bokeria stated that the Ivanishvili’s interview was a sign of setting private interests and personal hatred before state interests. “The country is ruled by the insane,” fellow member of the UNM Irma Nadirashvili added.

Analysts Korneli Kakachia believes that the only reason why the Republicans refrain from leaving the coalition now is the upcoming elections. “The Republicans alone or with Alasania’s party will have little chance to gain any success in the 2016 elections,” Kakachia said, adding that the only man Ivanishvili likes in the Republicans is Davit Usupashvili.

Fellow analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze states that it would be better for Ivanishvili to recognize the mistakes that are being made by the team he left and not to have very negative reactions on opposing visions.