Naming Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili as new PM “will not save these authorities”, leader of opposition Georgian Dream coalition Bidzina Ivanishvili said on July 1 and also added that positive impression he initially had about Merabishvili was now fading away.
“No matter what kind of replacements they make in the government… nothing new will come out of it,” he told reporters while visiting mountainous Kazbegi district few hours before his campaign rally in the town of Mtskheta on Sunday. “They’ve done it probably in order to reinforce police violence against the people. But no reshuffle of the government will save these authorities.”
“Instead of reshuffles, they should better return back into legal framework and stand in service of the people,” he said.
Asked if his opinion about Merabishvili has changed since October, when he described the former interior minister as “a good manager with many positive traits”, Ivanishvili responded: “This opinion of mine about [Merabishvili] is gradually fading away, because I do not see him taking adequate decisions.”
In his lengthy open letter in October about his decision to go into politics, Ivanishvili described Merabishvili as “a good manager, good organizer and a person with many positive traits.”
“Merabishvili managed, through much diligence, to create a functional system in the form of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Patrol Police or other power-wielding structures, if stripped of their punishing functions, could play a quite useful role for society. Merabishvili often impressed me with his competence in economical affairs,” Ivanishvili wrote in his October 12, 2011 open letter.
Ivanishvili told journalists on July 1, that his advice to Merabishvili and others in the government would be “to return to common sense and to obey law and the will of the people.”
“They should not further burn bridges because no much time is left for them; they should behave in a way that would allow them to live in their own country,” he added.
In separate remarks on the same issue later on July 1, Ivanishvili said it was not yet clear whether it was a promotion for Merabishvili or his sidelining from the powerful ministry of internal affairs. He also said it would become clearer after the composition of the new government would be named.