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President criticizes overlapping government institutions

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, April 2
One of the issues the president touched upon in his annual speech on March 31 was the wide disrespect for state institutions, and on how to avoid such complications.

“I deem it unimaginable to implement the correct economic policies and reforms under the current systemic parallelism within our system,” Margvelashvili said

The president, who under the constitution, enjoys less power than the PM, also said that the functions of the Foreign Ministry should not be duplicated.

The president brought up the example of the newly-created Inter-Agency Council on Foreign Policy that, according to him, partially duplicates the functions of the Foreign Ministry and the government.

Margvelashvili also stated that the function of Georgia’s Special Representative to Russia Zurab Abashidze, also required more specificity.

Margvelashvili also said the work of the National Security Council (NSC) under the president is being hindered by external obstacles.

“It causes uncertainty in our society and among our foreign partners,” the president said.

“We should know who the actual decision-maker in each sector is, and who is responsible for all of our successes and failures. Therefore, we should form such a system of governance, where the individuals in charge will be clearly defined,” Margvelashvili said.

Meanwhile, the government refrained from attending his annual speech. On the one hand, the government members stated that it was because of the president’s decreased powers under the current constitution, and on the other hand, there is quite a long distance from Tbilisi to the Kutaisi parliament building, where the speech was delivered.

Majority MP Tina Khidasheli stated that the absence of the cabinet was also caused by the poor dialogue between the president and the prime minister.

“I hope that next year the president will manage to carry out fruitful dialogue with the ruling team and the prime minister, and that there will no longer be any empty seats,” Khidasheli said.

Commenting on the president’s speech, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said that Margvelashvili made some ungrounded accusations about the government that were pity to hear.

The PM stressed that he has always been an initiator of phone calls or meetings with the president, and aimed at establishing a positive relationship among state institutions.

When it came to various councils, the PM informed that such councils operated in Israel, United States and many other developed countries.

Concerning the absence of the government, Gharibashvili said that the current authorities have agreed not to become a part of pompous events, especially when the country’s constitutional arrangement has changed.

The opposition United National Movement strongly criticized the government for their ignorance. UNM MP Tariel Londaridze, stressed that the government showed its disrespect to the president and the voters as well. The UNM claims that the government’s absence was due to former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, who, according to them, dislikes the president and runs the country from behind the scene.