PM Bidzina Ivanishvili has suggested that he might quit his post and go into third sector after the presidential elections this October – that is even sooner than the date he was previously indicating to.
“After the October [presidential] elections there will be completely different situation in Georgia and the government will no longer need my assistance,” he said on June 23.
Like in his previous remarks on the issue, the PM again reiterated that if he sees that his resignation causes negative consequences for the country, “then of course I will not quit.”
He made the remarks while commenting on Sunday his statement made in an interview with the Estonian newspaper, Postimees, in which he says that he will resign after the presidential elections in October, 2013.
In October 2011, when he first announced about his political goals, Ivanishvili said that he was intending to stay in politics for two or three years. After becoming the PM he said in November 2012 that he would quit his post and politics in spring 2014 “if things go perfectly”, but if “the worst case scenario plays out” he would stay for full term and would even run in next elections.
In an interview with the Estonian newspaper, Postimees, which was recorded on June 19, PM Ivanishvili said: “I am going to quit the politics soon. I will stay no more than several days immediately after Saakashvili quits and new presidential elections are held [in October, 2013]. We have a good team; a very interesting president will be elected from our [team]; there is a very interesting speaker of the parliament [Davit Usupashvili] and I have an idea about who could replace me [on PM’s post].”
Asked about these remarks, Ivanishvili told journalists on June 23: “I’ve made such statements for many times previously. You remember my first statement [in October, 2011] where I was saying that I was going to stay in politics from two to three years and at the same time I was clarifying in the same [statement]… that I am not going to leave the country.”
“Quitting politics by me does not mean that I am leaving the country or shunning away from difficulties and responsibilities or from my [pre-election] promises. I will quit the politics when there is no need for me to be [in the politics] and I will engage in more difficult and more needed processes and that is development of the society. My greatest dream is to have a European type society in twenty years. The government with all of its branches – judiciary, parliament and executive – is part of the society, like you [journalists] are also part of the society; experts, analysts, NGOs are also part of one body and that is the society; development of only one part of this body – the government, will not help development of the entire country; the society has to develop, the society is crucial,” he said.
“Therefore I will take care of development of the society for rest of my life. I want to remain active for twenty more years… It will take about twenty years to have the European type of society. The society should learn to elect the best and the society should be able to control the government.”
“I am not going anywhere and I am not running anywhere. I will quit when I first and foremost explain well to my team members and when they understand well that quitting the politics by me will not harm anything and when the society also understands it well. But if question marks remain and if there is a threat that this move will cause [negative consequences] for the country, then of course I will not quit,” Ivanishvili said.
Asked if that might happen this October, he responded: “I think it will be possible.”
“After the October [presidential] elections there will be completely different situation in Georgia and the government will no longer need my assistance. Development of the society will be more needed,” Ivanishvili said, adding that joining the third sector would serve as an important momentum for the civil society, “which should define the country’s strategy and development.”
“I repeat that when I quit [the politics] it will mean that I am going from easer place to more difficult one,” he said, adding that he will do it only after “sorting everything out” in the government.
“If there is even a slight sense of instability and if it triggers questions that it can cause [negative consequence] then of course I won’t quit,” the PM said.
“I think that after the October elections there will be completely different situation in Georgia and there will be no need for me to stay in the politics and if there is still such need by that time, I will definitely stay,” he added.
Asked who will replace him if he quits, Ivanishvili responded: “It’s early to speak about it now.”
Commenting on PM’s remarks made in the interview with the Estonian newspaper, President Saakashvili said earlier on June 23 that “politics is not a kindergarten.”
“That’s a very serious issues, which is related to human’s fate, Georgia’s long-term development and future,” Saakashvili said, adding that where Georgia will be is what matters the most rather than where individual politicians will be.