Parliament speaker, Davit Usupashvili, whose Republican Party remains in the Georgian Dream (GD) ruling coalition, told the Free Democrats (FD) congress in Tbilisi on November 8, that the two parties remain “partners” even though ex-defense minister Irakli Alasania’s FD have quit the GD coalition.
In his speech Usupashvili, who was among the invited guests at the congress among other Republican party leaders, thanked and praised the Free Democrats for their, as he put it, contribution to laying the foundation “to the country’s free and democratic development and its real European and Euro-Atlantic integration.”
“We were together in this process and I want to thank each of you for that,” the parliament speaker said.
Free Democrats, which was among the founding members of the Georgian Dream, quit the coalition after Irakli Alasania was sacked from defense minister’s post following his reaction to arrests of MoD and general staff officials, saying that it was “politically motivated” and an “attack on Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic choice.” Five parties now remain the GD ruling coalition: Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia, founded by ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili and now chaired by PM Irakli Garibashvili; Republican Party; National Forum; Conservative Party and Industrialists.
“We should give a clear response to all the possible speculations,” Usupashvili continued. “As a representative of the Republican Party, I want to clearly emphasize that we remain partners [with FD] even though our political paths have gone apart just few days ago.”
“We [the Republican Party] stay in the [GD] coalition. Our [Republicans] goal is to secure necessary decisions within the [GD] coalition, to [secure] more efficiency of the authorities, the government and the Parliament and I am confident that your [referring to the Free Democrats] goal is the same; you too want the authorities, which you were part of, to be successful; only in that case the Republican Party, Free Democrats, National Forum Conservative Party, Georgian Dream party, Industrialists will be successful; this is our common goal and I am confident that we will be able to successfully tackle this task,” Usupashvili said.
He said that “sometimes very desirable, sometimes less desirable and sometimes very undesirable” things may happen in politics and it is the duty of politicians to navigate through these developments in the most correct way.
“I am sure that in the coming days the entire world and the Georgian citizens will be convinced that the choice made by you was not the choice in favor of the party, but was your vision for the benefit of the country,” Usupashvili said.
These remarks were in sharp contrast to those what PM Irakli Garibashvili, who is also the leader of the GD coalition, said when calling on the Free Democrats members, other than Alasania, not to quit the ruling coalition, portraying it as a choice between the state and an individual, referring to Alasania.
In his speech Usupashvili also said: “I am glad that as the Parliamentary Chairman I have to work in the Parliament, where Free Democrats are represented.”
“We have already discussed this issue with lawmakers and I am sure that we will continue our successful cooperation in the Parliament to do the work for which we stood together under the leadership of Bidzina Ivanishvili in the Georgian Dream coalition. I think it is guaranteed,” Usupashvili said.
“We have no luxury to lose each other when our opinions may diverge,” Usupashvili said. “We should show wisdom in such situations especially and we should always keep in mind that homeland is our icon and we should manage to settle emotionally charged issues in line with common sense and I am sure that’s exactly how our relations and life of Free Democrats, Republican Party, Georgian Dream coalition will continue in the Georgian Parliament.”
He said that it is too early now to speak whether the Republican Party and the Free Democrats will be competitors or partners in the next parliamentary elections in 2016, but added that shared values will make the two parties “to cooperate fruitfully for the benefit of our country.”