President Saakashvili criticized PM Ivanishvili on March 14 for “gossiping” on private matters and said the PM infringed on right to privacy by making a reference to Supreme Court Chairman’s past health problems.
Ivanishvili made the remarks in question earlier on March 14 at a news conference, which he held for media outlets from country’s regions. During the press conference one journalist questioned his positive remarks about Supreme Court Chairman Kote Kublashvili after their meeting on March 6. Although Ivanishvili said that his positive remarks about Kublashvili were probably “exaggerated”, he reiterated that he deemed Kublashvili to be “a professional, who has done many good things.” Ivanishvili also said that Kublashvili was “a victim of Saakashvili’s system” and suggested that Kublashvili had to yield to President’s pressure in the past because he “felt obliged” personally before the President because in the past the latter supported Kublashvili in receiving treatment for “serious” health problem.
“I know that Kublashvili had a serious illness – I feel very uncomfortable, it’s like gossiping – and Saakashvili helped him and he [Kublashvili] felt obliged before [Saakashvili],” Ivanishvili said.
“Mr. Kublashvili and others, who were considered to be part of Saakashvili’s team, were victims of Saakashvili’s system,” Ivanishvili said. “But I’ve never heard of Kublashvili to be a corrupt official; he was simply failing to reject one person and the system which was built.”
“At the same time, many positive things have been done in the judiciary – in the part of judiciary which was not related to political issues,” Ivanishvili said.
“It is my huge desire Kublashvili to serve his full term” as Supreme Court Chairman, Ivanishvili said.
Kublashvili became Chairman of the Supreme Court for a ten-year term in February 2005.
In a written statement on Thursday evening, President Saakashvili, who is currently in Brussels attending summit of the European People’s Party, said PM’s remarks about Kublashvili’s health were “unjustifiable.”
“Gossiping by politicians is unacceptable,” Saakashvili said.
“Right to privacy is constitutionally guaranteed and its violation is completely inadmissible,” he said and added that “speculations and blackmailing” on private matters was in “gangster, oligarchic” style of early 1990s’ Russia.
While speaking about the Supreme Court Chairman during his press conference on March 14, PM Ivanishvili also mentioned long-time lawmaker from President Saakashvili’s UNM party, Pavle Kublashvili, who is brother of the Supreme Court Chairman. Ivanishvili said that although MP Kublashvili’s some of the past political activities were questionable, “like his brother, he is very experienced and intellectual.”
Ivanishvili then continued by saying that many of the UNM lawmakers were more “experienced” than many MPs from his Georgian Dream coalition and such professionals from the UNM party should be able to contribute with their experience to the service of the country.
He even said that Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili was complaining to him that because of lack of experienced lawmakers within Georgian Dream, “there are not even three persons from our team” who could properly help him.
Some of the MPs, who were elected in the Parliament as a result of running on six-party coalition Georgian Dream’s ticket, are actors, film directors, sportsmen with no experience in politics.
MP by-elections in three single-mandate majoritarian constituencies to fill vacant seats in the Parliament will be held on April 27.
“Usupashvili reminds me every day not to even dare and nominate any famous artist [as an MP candidate in these by-elections],” PM Ivanishvili said on March 14. “A candidate should be able to work with laws; we are now looking for such people; he [Usupashvili] tells me: ‘it does not matter which team [a candidate] belongs to, important is that a candidate should know how to work in the Parliament’.”