PM Bidzina Ivanishvili said on December 24 that uneasy cohabitation between his government and President Saakashvili would pose “no threat whatsoever to the country’s development either internally or externally.”
Speaking at a news conference in Tbilisi, Ivanishvili said that “hysterical statements” of President Saakashvili and his United National Movement (UNM) party leaders “will not stop the process of restoring justice”, referring to criminal proceedings launched against number of former high ranking officials from the previous government.
“Cohabitation can’t be artificial and it should not imply that we should be obliged to have relations with criminals,” PM Ivanishvili said. “The process of restoring justice, which is underway in the country, will not be stopped by hysterical statements of the opposition. This process will continue… One of the major [pre-election] promises of our team was about restoring sense of justice and it will be delivered without any preconditions.”
“As far as opponents and relations with them are concerned, I will not make any extensive comments about them, because they have failed to work constructively,” PM Ivanishvili continued. “Very often their statements are very absurd… I hoped that they would have managed to switch to a more constructive mode. There are so many absurdities in recent statements of the opposition, especially of its leader [President Saakashvili], that their [statements] can’t be subject of a serious analysis by me.”
“The fact that they have failed to be constructive has its reason. Those who want to be constructive, they should have lived their life correctly and there should be no such questions, which are now in address of [UNM]. They still continue with their same old ideology of lies and violence,” he said.
“But I want to tell the population to watch these developments with calm. This is a very good process, which gives a good possibility for the public to make proper analysis,” he said. “No threat whatsoever poses to the country’s development either internally or externally. There have been questions that [internal tensions between government and President] may slow down [foreign direct] investments. Inflow of investments will grow and I will show it to you.”
Ivanishvili said that in 2013 presidential and 2014 local elections Georgian Dram coalition “unfortunately” would not have a real competitor, “capable to really challenge us”.
He also said that if needed he was ready to meet President Saakashvili, but also added that such meeting should have concrete purpose and should not be simply “a meeting for the meeting.”
The PM said that he had already met twice with the President of National Bank of Georgia, Giorgi Kadagidze, and had “a very fruitful” discussions with him over the issue related to cooperation with the International Monetary Fund.
“As far economic growth is concerned, it will be difficult during the first year [of new government’s term in office], it will require preparatory period; second year will be much better; in the third year large part of the population will feel it on their pockets and the third year will be very good one,” he said.