PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili said in a written statement on March 3 that ongoing “political confrontation” between the Republican and Industrialists parties, members of the Georgian Dream (GD) ruling coalition is “completely unacceptable.”
He criticized the both and called on them to address differences behind the closed doors within the coalition, otherwise warned that he will have to carry out “changes” to provide for “stable functioning of the government”.
Republicans and Industrialists’ leaders have been engaged in back-and-forth for past several weeks already during which one of the leaders of Industrialist Party, MP Gogi Topadze, accused Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli of the Republican Party of manipulating Sagarejo MP by-election results in October, 2015.
“Political confrontation in the [Georgian Dream] coalition took completely unacceptable form. It does not matter anymore who initiated this confrontation and what for,” PM Kvirikashvili said in the statement.
“Our society really deserves from politicians to show more responsible approach towards their own actions and statements, and to think and elaborate the ways for solving of people’s problems.”
Referring to MP Gogi Topadze’s allegation against Defense Minister Khidasheli, the PM said: “Several days ago I made a political statement that it is inadmissible for the coalition members to make such public accusations against the Defense Minister and I am still of the same opinion.”
“But, at the same time, I want to state that the Defense Minister is, first and foremost, a member of the government and only then – one of the leaders of her party. Because of this very status of [the Defense Minister] it is unacceptable from her to get involved in such confrontation. It is especially important to do our utmost in order to ensure maximum distancing of our army from the political processes. It is inadmissible that our soldiers and officers, whom we are so proud of, to be involved in politics.”
Referring to MP Topadze’s anti-Western rhetoric and remarks justifying Stalin’s mass repressions, the PM said: “Stalinist sentiments, radicalism and marginal pseudo-traditions originating from the depths of the Soviet Union are alien and unacceptable for the future of Georgia. Georgian Dream is the political force, which will guarantee the European and Euro-Atlantic future of our country based on the national self-identity. It was the Georgian Dream that brought huge changes in 2012 and got the country, heading towards the abyss, back on the path of its historical development.”
“Today, it is vitally important to ensure the process of renewal, which in no way means forgetting contribution made by even a single individual,” he said.
“Georgian Dream will definitely be a strong political unity, which will be oriented towards national values, development, and progress; through this Georgia will join Europe not just mechanically, but will also enrich the European family with its traditional and cultural values.”
“Georgian Dream is ready to cooperate with all the political forces, who are in lockstep with this process, who share this political vision, who can overcome narrow-party interests and who can unite around the main goal – the better future of our country,” the PM said.
“I again call on our political partners to discuss any dispute only within the framework of the coalition; otherwise, I, as the Prime Minister of the country and the leader of the coalition, will definitely carry out changes that will ensure stable functioning of the government and putting of the political process in healthy framework,” PM Kvirikashvili said.
Both the Republican and Industrialists parties have been saying for almost two weeks already that they are ready to address the issue at a meeting of GD’s governing body, political council; but the meeting of the political council, uniting leaders of the coalition partner parties, has not yet been convened.
In a brief comment on March 3, MP Topadze said he welcomes PM’s statement and is ready to discuss the issue at a meeting of GD’s political council.
“It was a very good statement. He knows very well who’s right and who’s wrong,” MP Topadze said.
The Republican Party said in a written statement on March 3 that it has requested a meeting with PM Kvirikashvili in order “to clarify difficult political situation.”
“The Republican Party will comment only after that meeting,” it said.
The meeting has been scheduled for late Thursday evening.