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Why has the Prime Minister resigned?

By Messenger Staff
Friday, December 25
Georgia’s Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, has resigned. The move was very unexpected for Georgians when representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers stated that Garibashvili “was thinking about the stepping down.”

As Georgia’s Minister of Defence Tinatin Khidasheli said, Garibahsvili has reached the goals he had been striving towards, and the recent positive report of the European Council regarding Georgia’s visa-liberalization practice encouraged him to consider resignation.

Garibashvili’s speech was quite short - just 6 minutes – in which he stressed that “timely coming and timely quitting” was very essential for Georgian interests, and that he has never been obsessed with titles.

Garibashvili also highlighted the milestones Georgia reached under his governance, including the signing of the Association Agreement and the Free Trade deal with the European Union, and also taking genuine steps towards visa-liberalisation with the European Union (EU) states.

Opposition parties claim that Garibashvili’s resignation will change nothing and will not provide better economic conditions for the Georgian population.

The United National Movement opposition party is asking for snap Parliamentary elections.

However, according to public polls, the rating of the opposition party is quite low, still coming behind the Georgian Dream coalition (GD).

Of course, Georgia’s positive steps and closing with the EU was one of the biggest achievements under Garibashvili, as well as solving of large scaled healthcare and social problems.

However, just like his predecessors, Garibashvili also failed to significantly upgrade the living conditions for ordinary Georgians.

The Government claims this was mainly because of “outside factors”, and international complications that caused the serious devaluation of the national currency against the dollar.

It is possible that one of the main reasons why Garibashvili resigned is the upcoming 2016 parliamentary elections.

Unlike in 2012, the rating of the GD coalition has significantly decreased as there were various promises made that have not been fulfilled.

Perhaps the coalition thinks that changing of the faces might help them in the upcoming elections, especially when the PM’S replacement might be widely appreciated.

Georgian media speculates that the current Foreign Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, will replace Garibashvili.

It should be stated that Kvirikashvili enjoys both economic and political experience; he is very balanced in his statements and has many times been named as the only positively distinguished figure of the Georgian Dream coalition.

In 2015, Kvirikashvili was appointed as Georgia’s Foreign Minister, previously having served as the Minister of Economics.

It is likely that the step was not accidental, and Kviriaksvili’s appointment as Foreign Minister served the aim for him to familiarize himself with Georgia’s international partners better before his appointment as Prime Minister.