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Prime Minister's Anti-Corruption Agenda and Opposition Response

By Liza Mchedlidze
Friday, February 9, 2024
The Parliament of Georgia expressed confidence in Irakli Kobakhidze and the government's composition, with 84 deputies supporting him out of 105 who voted. Notably, Irakli Chikovani replaced Juansher Burchuladze as the Minister of Defense.

Before the Parliament expressed confidence in Kobakhidze, he responded to questions, one of which was from the opposition political party For Georgia regarding corruption during his speech at the plenary session.

Kobakhidze stated that the fight against corruption would be one of his main priorities.

"For me, any form of corruption is categorically unacceptable, including the so-called 'Georgian style' corruption, to which the chairman of your party, Giorgi Gakharia, was loyal.

I'm not loyal to any type of corruption either, and I want to tell you one thing with full responsibility: I have never earned a single penny through corruption, and I intend to continue my work in the future. Therefore, I have no interest in covering someone's corruption. This will be my approach to corruption, and this is the approach of our honorable chairman [Bidzina Ivanishvili], who, moreover, has no interest.

He has spent three billion dollars in charity alone. Accordingly, the fight against corruption will be one of the main priorities of our government," said Kobakhidze.

In response to this, the Chairperson of the United National Movement, Tina Bokuchava, urged Kobakhidze to initiate investigations into elite corruption. According to Bokuchava, the rhetoric of Irakli Kobakhidze and the Georgian Dream on corruption is 'fake'.

"I believe that people are exhausted by Ivanishvili's government's lies, false promises from officials, manipulation of data and statistics, where the economy only benefits Ivanishvili and his corrupt associates, leaving the majority of our citizens grappling with unemployment, hopelessness, or forced to leave the country.

I really have no expectation that Ivanishvili's government will face reality and make real changes to the country. I expect that the Georgian people will change the government this year with the same strength and perseverance as they demonstrated in gaining candidate status.

No, Mr. Irakli, the status of a candidate for EU membership is not primarily the merit of Bidzina Ivanishvili, as you told us today. The status of the candidate is the merit of the Georgian people, who will show their true strength once again in October," said Tina Bokuchava.