Bidzina Ivanishvili’s statement about Giorgi Gakharia and his party

Bidzina Ivanishvili, The founder of the Georgian Dream, published his first letter after leaving politics on June 7. The letter said that the resignation of former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia over the arrest of Nika Melia in February was a “direct betrayal” of his team and state.

“Such an obscure action of a high-ranking official has no parallel in the political history of the world” said the founder of the Georgian Dream, stressing that all of this caused him “grave disappointment.”

Ivanishvili criticized Giorgi Gakharia’s new party. He said that it has “no ideological or conceptual basis” and is “clearly intended as a situational tool for to seize at least a small number of votes from the ruling party.” He also stressed that the “strong, progressive and experienced” team of the ruling party was easily able to “overcome difficulties and strengthen state institutions.” According to him, despite the removal of two leading state officials [the Prime Minister and the Speaker of Parliament] since his departure from politics, “the state continues to function stably.”

Before Ivanishvili’s letter, Giorgi Gakharia was criticized by Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of the Georgian Dream. He said in an interview with Rustavi 2 TV that in February Giorgi Gakharia, then PM, had abruptly demanded a 2-3 day postponement of the operation to detain UNM leader Nika Melia. According to him, this happened when the Georgian Dream received information from Kyiv on February 17, a day before Gakharia’s resignation, that the UNM had been planning a conspiracy and was going to form an “alternative government” with the participation of some employees of the Interior and Defense Ministries. “You can draw your conclusions!” Said the chairman of the ruling party.

After Ivanishvili’s letter, the Minister of Culture Tea Tsulukiani expressed a critical position towards the former Prime Minister: “He made the decision, changed his position and surprised us all and Bidzina Ivanishvili evaluated his unusual behaviour as an act of betrayal.”

The assessments of opposition politicians are fundamentally different.  Member of Lelo –  Pikria Chikhradze said: “Giorgi Gakharia is a useful project for Bidzina Ivanishvili.”  The leader of European Georgia, Giga Bokeria, noted that “Ivanishvili’s statement confirmed two things that we all knew before. One is that he runs the country, he controls the government, i.e. he has gone nowhere. Second – Ivanishvili desires to split the oppositional voters. This indicates that he is afraid for Georgian Dream’s political  future.”

In an extensive interview with TV Pirveli on June 8, Giorgi Gakharia responded to the allegations and spoke about his party’s plans. Gakharia said Georgian Dream leaders had “exhausted themselves” and that the Georgian dream is trying to retain power. The former prime minister also said that he announced his resignation after Ivanishvili did not answer his call. He said that the fact that he could not get an answer to the question was already an answer for him.

Gakharia also discussed ongoing protests against the construction of the Namakhvani HPP, saying that the project would not have been possible without the support of the Rioni Valley guards. According to the former Prime Minister, although the Georgian economy needs a power plant, “if the country’s top officials, won’t get involved in this matter personally and will not talk to these people, just because the situation is so aggravated, the problem will remain unresolved.”

Gakharia also talked about the fundings for his party. He said that the party is funded by his and other party members’ personal savings. He added that they will have “absolutely innovative” and transparent funding mechanisms.

Council of Europe Committee of Ministers sets a deadline for Russia to fulfil its obligations in the deportees’ case

According to the Ministry of Justice, at the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 7-8 June, the so-called enforcement process of the deportees was evaluated and the  decision was made.  The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europeoversees the implementation of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

According to the decision, the deadline for  Russia to pay compensation is September 6. Russia can pay compensation directly to the Georgian government (for distribution to the victims), or Russia should sign a memorandum to allow compensation to be paid through the Council of Europe.

 At the meetings which were held in March and June of this year,  Russia’s position was no longer to refuse payment. Instead, it expressed its willingness to transfer compensation to the Council of Europe and sign a memorandum with the Council of Europe.

 

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EGI Political Digest was created with support from Swedish International Liberal Centre (SILC). The views and opinions expressed in this Digest are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of EGI or SILC.

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