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Republican ministers to step down

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, July 13
Minister of Defence Tinatin Khidasheli and Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality Paata Zakaraeishvili will resign before the October 8 Parliamentary elections, as they will participate in the race with the Republican Party, which will run separately from the Georgian Dream (GD) coalition in the elections.

However, Georgia’s Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili, who is number one in the election list of the Republican Party, announced that Minister of Environment Gigla Agulashvili, has left the Republicans in order to retain his ministerial post.

Agulashvili said he made his decision after consulting with the Prime Minister.

Usupashvili said Khidasheli and Zakareishvili would address Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili in the coming days over their resignation.

The Republican leader addressed his party members, specifically those who had some concern over the potential success of the Republicans in the elections.

Usupashvili also stated that his party wanted the Republican Ministers to retain their posts until the elections, despite the fact that member parties of the current ruling Georgian Dream (GD) coalition intended to participate in the elections separately.

However, Usupashvili said the majority of the coalition-Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) refused to accept the offer as they thought a multi-party coalition Government in pre-election period could not be a reasonable solution.

Usupashvili promised the Republicans would continue to fight for a better Georgia and said the party would announce its plans and the election list in the coming days.

The current ruling Georgian GD coalition was established by Georgia’s ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections with the aim of defeating the nine-year rule of the United National Movement (UNM) party. Initially it was composed of seven parties; two of them quit in 2013 and 2014, and of the remaining five parties, four said they will run in the elections independently.

Two days ago, a member of the GDDG party, Zakaria Kutsnashvili, said the Conservative Party would take part in the elections with GDDG. He also did not exclude the possibility of other parties joining (or rejoining) the coalition.