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Ex-Defence Minister against new role in executive Gov’t

By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 21
Georgia’s ex-Defence Minister and leader of the Free Democrats party Irakli Alasania, who has “temporarily quit the party and politics”, excludes the possibility of occupying any position in the Government or in the President’s administration.

Alasania stated this after media speculations that he could be appointed as the Secretary of Georgia’s Security Council under the President of Georgia.

The ruling party representatives even commented on the issue and said Alasania had great experience in the security sector.

However, Alasania dismissed the speculations.

"These reports are incorrect and unfounded. I am ruling out any such possibility and probably I will not receive such an offer anyway. I think I have now more opportunities to do more interesting and important things and to develop myself.

“I repeat: I rule out working in public service. However, I will do something that will be useful for Georgia in the future, for reconciliation with the Abkhaz and Tskhinvali populations. This could be working abroad. I want to use my international contacts not as a public official, but as a private person,” Alasania stated.

Six other key members of the party also quit the Free Democrats and there are speculations they could appear in the executive Government when the election process in completed in Georgia.

Alasania, 43, is a soldier and former diplomat and served as Georgia’s Minister of Defence from 2012 to 2014 under the current Government of Georgia. He was fired by ex-Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili in November 2014 for his statements about Georgia changing its foreign orientation.

Alasania stressed he and his progressive police for boosting Georgia’s self-defence capabilities was disliked by the Georgian Dream coalition sounder, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Alasania was Georgia’ Ambassador to the United Nations from September 2006 to December 2008, under the previous United National Movement (UNM)-led government. Due to a conflict with ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration, Alasania withdrew into the opposition and founded the Free Democrats party in July 2009.

The Free Democrats were part of the Georgian Dream coalition founded by ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivansihvili prior to 2012 Parliamentary Elections, to defeat the nine-year rule of the United National Movement.

The Free Democrats quit the coalition in 2014 when Alasania was dismissed as Defence Minister. The party participated separately in this year’s Parliamentary Elections.

In the October 8 parliamentary elections, his party received 4.62% of votes and failed to overcome the mandatory 5% threshold.

It is less likely Alasania to be appointed in the new Government as Georgian Dream again managed to come to power.

However, it is not excluded his party members might appear in some leading posts.

It was more likely that Alasania was to be appointed in the President’s Administration, as the President is also disliked by Ivanishvili and Alasania and Margvelashvili seem to be on good terms.

All in all, it is more likely that Alasania will not serve in Georgia again, taking his big foreign experience into account and his international connections.