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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

The new Georgian government was introduced

Misha TAVKHELIDZE: There are no reformers in the Georgian Dream Coalition
11 October, 2012 - 00:00

The leader of the opposition Georgian Dream Coalition, which won the last parliamentary election in Georgia, Bidzina Ivanishvili introduced the candidates for key positions in the new government. As Ivanishvili said during the press conference, he recommended the leader of the party Our Georgia – Free Democrats Irakli Alasania as minister of defense. According to Ivanishvili, the foreign ministry should be headed by the spokesperson of the coalition Maya Pandzhikidze. One of the Georgian Dream Coalition leaders Irakli Garibashvili is recommended for the position of minister of internal affairs. We remind our readers that the parliamentary election was held in Georgia on October 1. The Central Election Committee of Georgia has already processed 100 percent of votes and, according to the results, the Georgian Dream Coalition won the election. It has to get 83 places in the parliament of new convocation. The former governing party of Mikheil Saakashvili United National Movement got the second place and will be represented by 67 MPs. There are 150 places in the Georgian parliament and other political forces that participated in the election did not manage to overcome the 5-percent barrier, necessary to enter the parliament.

One of the coalition activists, representative of the party Our Georgia – Free Democrats, Aleksa Petriashvili was promoted to the position of the minister for European integration. The positions of minister of agriculture and minister of health will be respectively occupied by the former minister of agriculture and food (of Eduard Shevardnadze’s government) David Kirvalidze and the former minister of labor, health and social protection of that government Amiran Gamkrelidze.

The footballer Kakha Kaladze was promoted to the position of vice-prime minister and minister of regional development and infrastructure. He was number one in the party list of the Georgian Dream Coalition at the parliamentary election.

The lawyer Archil Kbilashvili was recommended to the position of the prosecutor general. Political expert, representative of the Republican Party Paat Zakareishvili was promoted to the position of minister for reintegration (conflict management). The leader of the Republican Party David Usupashvili will be nominated head of parliament and his deputy will be the head of the party Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia Maya Kobakhidze.

Ivanishvili also emphasized that the candidates for the positions of minister of economy and sustainable development, minister of education, minister for refugees, minister of finance, minister of environment and natural resources will be nominated in the nearest days.

Ivanishvili has already given the new government their first task to find their deputies. “My first task is probably symbolic. I asked them to choose their deputies themselves. I also warned them to warn their deputies that our government must not have any agreements with business or corruption, this is what all ministers and their deputies have to remember,” Ivanishvili declared.

The Georgian media have not commented on Ivanishvili’s choice yet. One of the leaders of National Movement David Darchiashvili did not examine every member of the new parliament separately but declared that it is essential to pursue the chosen policy. “For me it is essential that they preserve what has been achieved as a result of the reforms, the fundamentals of the state, tax collection, fighting criminality, corruption eradication and other achievements. As for the security of the state and foreign policy, it is essential to keep the Euro-Atlantic direction and not to turn into Russia’s satellite pretending to have a dialog with it. If someone resolves the rest of issues better and continues reforms, such people should only be encouraged,” Darchiashvili said as quoted by Pirveli agency.

The Day asked the Georgian television journalist Misha TAVKHELIDZE to assess the first nominations of the Georgian Dream Coalition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili concerning the new government.

“Now I do not really understand what this government is going to do. Personally I do not believe that the Georgian Dream Coalition has enough resources to successfully rule the country and continue reforms. They won the election and now they are responsible for future developments in the state.”

Will the new government continue the reforms?

“If the new government wants to continue reforms and pursue the policy of their forerunners, it has all possibility to do it. President Saakashvili claimed that he was not going to interfere. Unlike Ivanishvili, Saakashvili usually keeps his promises, at least, for the past ten years. So, the new government has a blank check and everything depends on it.”

Is it possible for Georgia to get on track with Russia and pursue the policy of joining NATO and EU, as Ivanishvili declared?

“It is possible to have good relations with Russia but not with Putin if we enter NATO. If we do not, it will be another game. Members of Ivanishvili’s party say that they are going to change their opinion about occupied territories as it is very tough. During the election campaign they said that it was necessary to find the way to start negotiations between Tbilisi and Sukhumi. This is what Russia has been seeking since 2008, to turn Georgian-Russian conflict into a conflict between Tbilisi and Sukhumi and Tbilisi and Tskhinvali.

“As for suggested candidates for the positions of ministers of defense, internal affairs and foreign affairs, I would not discuss them in person. We have known many of them for a long time. We know what they are capable of. However, the Georgian Dream Coalition lacks strong politicians and reformers. There are not any. To put it mildly, the new government did not impress me.”

How should we take Ivanishvili’s declaration that he will pay for his first foreign visit to the US?

“It is very difficult to predict what Ivanishvili is going to do. He usually changes his opinions, promises, and intentions every two days. He might go to the US or to France as he is a citizen of this country. He informed the White House that he will postpone his visit until the presidential election. Actually, he made it clear to Obama that he does not consider him a full-fledged president.”

By Mykola SIRUK, The Day