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Opposition Free Democrats party has new member

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, March 8
The Free Democrats (FD) parliamentary opposition party, chaired by Georgia’s former Minister of Defence Irakli Alasania, has presented its latest member, philosopher Zaza Piralishvili.

Alasania, who presented Piralishvili before the local media on March 7, said the man would lead the party’s educational and cultural direction, as he has vast experience in this regard.

Piralishvili, for his part, said he had actively cooperated with the party in previous years and described the FD as a party with a “huge potential” to appropriately serve the country.

The philosopher and analyst also stressed there were various open and hidden pro-Russian political forces in Georgia who claimed to be defending Georgia’s cultural identity, which, according to him, was paradoxical.

Piralishvili praised the party members for their professionalism and said the FD had never made populist statements.

Alasania, who was appointed as Georgia’s Defemce Minister after the 2012 parliamentary elections, was fired in November 2014 by Georgia’s former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.

After his dismissal, Alasania and his party quit the coalition and now are preparing for the upcoming 2016 parliamentary race.

In November 2014, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office detained several employees of the Defence Ministry for misspending of budgetary funds.

Alasania stressed the people were innocent, and said it was simply a politically-motivated campaign against him, as he intended to sign an important deal with France over the purchase of air-defence weapons.

Alasania was in France at the time of the arrest of his employees. When he returned to Tbilisi some days later, he said his employees had been unjustly arrested and Georgia’s foreign course was at risk. For this statement, he was dismissed and replaced as the Minister of Defence.