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Republican Party ‘more than adequate’

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, August 4
Georgia’s Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili, who chairs the Republican Party which will run separately from the ruling coalition in the upcoming parliamentary elections, says the Republican Party is more adequate than any other political parties in Georgia.

Usupashvili made the statement in response to Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who said the parliament chair and his wife, Georgia’s ex-Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli, had made an inadequate statement when criticizing the appointment of ex-Deputy head of Georgia’s State Security Service, Levan Izoria, as the country’s new Minister of Defence.

“The Republican Party does not think that it is the only adequate political power, but compared to others, we are often more adequate,” Usupashvili told local media.

He stressed that all political parties are in a competitive mode to each other and target each other during the election campaign.

"I declare readiness for debates with any political leader, on any TV channel, on any topic, from the end of the week. Let’s make things clear there", he said.

“Voters will decide who is more adequate,” Usupashvili added.

The current ruling Georgian Dream coalition, founded prior to the 2012 parliamentary race with the aim of defeating the nine-year rule of the United National Movement Government, will split for this year’s parliamentary elections.

From the current coalition, the GDDG party and the Conservatives agreed on future cooperation, while the Republicans, Industrials and the National Forum will run separately.

Several days ago, two Republican Ministers, Khidasheli and Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality, Paata Zakareishvili quit their posts as they decided to stay in the Republican Party.

Shortly after the resignation the PM named their replacements: Izoria, and Zakareishvili’s former deputy Ketevan Tsikhelashvili.

Tsikhelashvili’s candidacy was applauded by Republicans, while Izoria was criticised.

“It is the wrong message to our foreign partners, as well as internally, when at first Irakli Alasania, a political figure, was replaced by a security official [Mindia Janelidze] as defense minister and then Khidasheli was replaced again by a security top figure…it indicates towards a very negative trend,” Khidasheli said.

The PM said in response he was convinced that after “overcoming their emotions”, Khidasheli and Usupashvili would make different statements over Izoria.

“It is difficult to comment on these statements - unfortunately, they were profoundly inappropriate,” the PM said.