Opposition lawmakers have criticized President Saakashvili for, as they put it, turning a blind eye on problems persisting in the country and for speaking about success stories in his annual state of the nation address on March 15.
MP Davit Zurabishvili was selected to give the Democratic Front parliamentary faction’s rebuttal to the presidential speech. The faction unites lawmakers from the opposition Republican and Conservative parties, as well as a number of non-partisan MPs.
Speaking at the parliamentary session on March 16, MP Zurabishvili slammed the President for not even mentioning issues related to the high-profile murder cases of Sandro Girgvliani and Amiran Robakidze in his speech.
“These are cases that show [the authorities’] attitude towards the people… Even if Vano Merabishvili were an ideal [Interior] Minister – although he is far from being so – he would have left his post, and the President is obliged to dismiss him because of the Girgvliani murder case,” MP Zurabishvili said.
He also criticized the President for not focusing in his speech on human rights and the judiciary system.
Representatives of the two other opposition parliamentary groups – New Rights and Industrialists – have refused to respond to the presidential address by giving speeches in the Parliament.
Instead, leader of the New Rights Party MP Davit Gamkrelidze criticized President Saakashvili’s speech through media sources on March 15. He told Imedi TV that listening to Saakashvili’s speech, he had an impression that the President “was speaking about another country and not about Georgia.”
An influential lawmaker from the ruling National Movement party Giga Bokeria said that opposition’s reaction on the President’s speech demonstrates “a deep depression of the political opponents.”