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Criticism not accepted

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, September 8
The Parliament Speaker and leader of the opposition Republican Party, Davit Usupashvili, has responded to criticism from Bidzina Ivanishvili, Georgia’s former Prime Minister and founder of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party.

According to Usupashvili, at present Ivanishvili is involved in a pre-election campaign of GD and criticizes all other parties active in the country. However, Usupashvili stressed that the ex-PM’s statement that the Republicans’ poll rating is 1% is not true.

“They have no resources to do work for the public or think about the state. All they can do is praise their own party,” Ivanishvili said on Monday while meeting regional journalists in Ozurgeti, West Georgia.

Moreover, Ivanishvili said that the Republicans are one of the parties which do not need his assistance.

“For the Republicans, the state starts with their party and ends where the Republicans end,” he added.

Usupashvili believes it is a pity that Ivanishvili has a new project for the October 8 parliamentary elections, very different from the one he had in 2011-2012 years, when the GD coalition came to power.

Another member of the Republicans, Levan Berdzenishvili, says Ivanishvili’s assessments towards their party are wrong.

“His (Ivanishvili’s) statements are deeply wrong. The elections will shed light on any doubt people have over our popularity,” said Berdzenishvili.

The Republicans were the second largest faction in the Georgian Dream coalition. The party announced in late March that it planned to officially withdraw from the coalition before the October elections and run independently.

The party had three Ministers in the Cabinet. Defence Minister Tina Khidasheli and Reconciliation and Civil Equality Affairs Minister Paata Zakareishvili officially left their posts on August 1. The third Cabinet member from the Republican Party, Gigla Agulashvili, Minister of Environment Protection decided to quit the party and remain in the government.