PM Irakli Garibashvili ruled out cabinet reshuffle and said that “endless” rumors about some ministers having an intention to resign and ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili planning to leave the country are deliberately spread by opposition United National Movement party in an attempt to, as he put it, instill “sense of instability” in the public.
“Ask them which minister is going to resign,” he said smiling and throwing a glance at ministers sitting at a round conference table; not all ministers were present at the government session, among them Defense Minister Irakli Alasania and Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani, who are paying visit to Turkey and Qatar, respectively.
“I doubt very much that there are traitors in our team,” he continued. “Traitors will be responded appropriately. But in general, it is easy to understand why such speculation is underway. Their [UNM’s] main goal is to fuel up tensions in the population, to trigger a sense of instability and to mar positive stance that is in the public – I know that according to recent polls [no recent public opinion survey is publicly available] is an optimistic, positive mood among the public.”
“Reforms and course pursued by our government since 2012 parliamentary elections will be accomplished – I promise that on behalf of our team and personally I, as the country’s Prime Minister, assume the responsibility that no changes, no reshuffle or coup will take place. This is a simple speculation by the [United] National Movement and by those people, who are the National Movement’s so called agent-journalists, who spread these rumors.”
He also mentioned rumors about ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili having an intention to leave Georgia, which were triggered partly after it was reported that he plans to sell Cartu Bank. Garibashvili said that Ivanishvili stayed in the country when it was the most dangerous for him, went into politics in 2011 and “accomplished what no one else could have done.” “That’s the reality we should face and acknowledge always with respect,” Garibashvili said.
“We see very well who has fled the country – that is their leader, the leader of the party which has 6% [rating], Mr. Saakashvili, who was talking weird things via Skype [during opening of his presidential library in Tbilisi on April 22]. Via Skype he looks brave, but let him come and speak to the people from here about those terrible crimes, which his government committed during nine years in [power]. I wonder what they have to teach or offer for reading in this library – perhaps, he will write books about how they were torturing, raping people and killing them in the streets and how they were seizing businesses,” Garibashvili said.