PM Irakli Garibashvili said on November 10 that former defense minister Irakli Alasania, ex-foreign minister Maia Panjikidze and ex-state minister for Euro-Atlantic integration, are responsible for a failure to dispel “misperceptions” in the West about selective justice in Georgia.
“I want to state it directly that when Irakli Alasania was visiting Europe and the United State, he was openly stating that reforms done at the time of Saakashvili were exemplary on which we should build upon [further progress]; he was not talking about those sadistic murders, torture, inhuman treatment and violations of human rights, which are now being investigated. Maia Panjikidze was doing the same and of course misperception, which regrettably still persist in the United State and Europe, has not been removed. So it has been obviously revealed, I have a serious suspicion about it, that it was done deliberately – not to bring reality [about Georgia] to Europe and the United States; very often I had suspicions and questions over Panjikidze’s actions,” Garibashvili told journalists.
He said that “the Foreign Ministry, the minister herself and her team, should have” dispelled those “misperceptions” about Georgia.
“So Maia Panjikidze and Alasania, as well as Petriashvili are directly responsible for a failure to remove that perception,” the PM said.
Commenting on his earlier remarks about Alasania in which he called the ex-defense minister “traitor”, “adventurer, stupid and ambitious” for which Garibashvili was also criticized by ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili, the PM said: “In general I like straight talk; I often may say what needs to be said, but I have never lied publicly. Another issue is whether I should have said that or not; I also did not like those words I said, but if we argue about the assessments I can go into debate about it, but perhaps it should not have been said by me.”
Commenting on ex-foreign minister Maia Panjikidze’s remarks that the PM should have resigned, Garibashvili said that such “unserious” remarks demonstrate “once again that these people were not committed to serving the state.”
“They completely took their masks off and revealed their true selves,” Garibashvili said. “And I want to note with regret that I was actually watching different persons over the past two years.”
“What Alasania failed to do in two years, this man [referring to Interior Minister Alexander Tchikaidze] has done in a year. He [Alasania] failed to sort out the issue of food [in the army],” Garibashvili said.
“We are doing real deeds and politics,” he continued. “Politics is not for catwalking and coquetry.”
“We have no time to please some others, we are doing a job for our people and our country,” he added.
Irakli Alasania responded to PM’s comments by saying that with such remarks Garibashvili is “damaging Georgia, our international image” and PM’s office itself.
Commenting on Alasania’s Free Democrats party, Garibashvili said that opposition is “welcomed” and also added: “It’s good that they have shown once again that they will be loyal to the United National Movement. We welcome opposition becoming active, political life will become more interesting.”