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Zourabichvili’s Bid for Deputy Interior Minister’s Post Seems to Fail
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 16 Jun.'09 / 12:58

Senior lawmakers from the ruling party said on June 16, that an opposition politician Salome Zourabichvili could not simultaneously hold the post of deputy interior minister and participate in protest rallies.

Salome Zourabichvili, a former foreign minister and leader of Georgia’s Way party, said on June 15 that she would accept President Saakashvili offer proposed to the opposition last week and would take the post of deputy interior minister. Zourabichvili said that she wanted to accept “the challenge” in order to monitor the ministry’s work from within and to investigate dozens of cases of attacks on opposition activists and supporters.

President Saakashvili’s immediate response made shortly after the Zourabichvili’s statement was that he would not object to her appointment on the post.

Zourabichvili also said later on June 15 that her decision to agree on the post did not mean that she was ceasing protesting or demanding President Saakashvili resignation.

“It seems that she does not understand the essence of the proposal correctly,” MP Pavle Kublashvili, the chairman of the parliamentary committee for legal affairs, said on June 16. “Taking post in a ministry means taking a responsibility on proper work of this ministry. If she thinks that during the day she should serve in the ministry and in the evening she can announce in a victorious voice at a protest rally that the entire ministry stands beside [protesters] and that she can use this [proposal] for escalating tensions – of course we will not give such a chance to anyone.”

“If they [opposition politicians] really want to take part in governance and to take responsibility over the activists of any ministry, they will have this chance, but using this for fueling tensions is irresponsible,” he added.

“She wants to make this body [Interior Ministry] super politicized by this move, which is totally unacceptable,” MP Petre Tsiskarishvili, leader of the parliamentary majority, said.

MP Giorgi Gabashvili said that the opposition should not consider the President proposal “out of context.” He said that the proposal should be part of a broader agreement between the authorities and the opposition.

“Our proposal will remain in force, but this type of appointment will only take place if we agree on cooperation modalities with the radical wing of the opposition in next few days. Of course it can not happen if these aggressive rallies, confrontational rhetoric and the tactic of splitting the society are maintained,” MP Gabashvili added.

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