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Prime Minister attends President’s annual report

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, February 3
The new Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvrikashvili, has stated that he would attend President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s annual speech in the legislative body today.

The PM - who took the post after the resignation of Irakli Garibashvili at the end of 2015 - stated that he will ensure the cooperation of different state institutions.

Several days ago, the PM also attended the National Security Council meeting called by the President; his predecessor infamously attended few NSC meetings, a result of poor relations with the President.

Garibashvili often stated that there was no need to attend events headed by the President; the PM stressed that based on the new Constitution, the Prime Minister and not the President is the main figure in the country.

Such attitudes emerged when the former Prime Minister and the founder of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) coalition Bidzina Ivanishvili stated after the 2013 Presidential elections that Margvelashvili “did not turn out to be the man he had expected” and that he was “a disappointment.”

It should be stressed that the triumvirate - Garibashvili, Margvelashvili and Kvirikashvili – were all brought to power by Ivanishvili in the 2012 parliamentary elections, when his coalition managed to defeat the United National Movement (UNM) leadership and their nine-year governance.

When asked about the necessity of the PM’s attendance in Parliament during the delivery of his annual address, the President said these questions should be asked to former and incumbent Prime Ministers.

"I do not know and am not going to talk about it in depth. These questions should be put to former and the current Prime Ministers. My position has not changed: state institutions have to cooperate and respect each other. I'm eager to cooperate with Mr. Kvirikashvili or any member of the government,” the President said.

The negative attitude towards Margvelashvili from Garibashvili and many other majority members was due to Ivanishvili’s opinion; it is likely that such a factor still exists, as Ivanishvili has not changed his attitude and continues to criticise the President for what he perceives to be his foibles.

Kvirikashvili has always been on good terms with Ivanishvili, having taken a high-level post in the billionaire’s Cartu Bank; the latter then sponsored his political career.

The question remains as to whether Kvirikashvili will be more independent and free in his decisions and attitudes or if Ivanishvili has simply revised his approach to controlling the government.