Political crisis continues in Georgia as Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili calls his former defense minister Irakli Alasania stupid and ambitious. In addition, Garibashvili accused him in lobbying the United National Movement (UNM) and promoting reforms of former President Mikheil Saakashvili. On that Alasania responded that only thing he was promoting as a minister was the achievements that the ministry made during his leadership.
Former Prime Minister Billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili also criticized Garibashvili’s statements and claimed that what the PM said about Alasania is unacceptable and it was a mistake. Ivanishvili said that PM’s decision to fire his defense minister was spontaneous and was not agreed with him. “Garibashvili is a strong person, but politically immature”, he added.
Garibashvili accepted criticism of his predecessor and claimed that although his statements were not politically correct, they were sincere.
Along these issues, Georgian and international media actively discuss the role of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili in the rule of current government. They are interested if former Prime Minister continues to influence the government behind the scenes. Ivanishvili holds all the instruments to influence the government, although it is questionable whether he uses them or not.
From his recent interview on 8 November to Public Broadcaster, it was clear that Ivanishvili holds a lot of information about current political situation in Georgia and many political decisions by the ruling coalition is agreed with him. And in crisis situations the coalition asks him to attend political board meetings. According to Ivanishvili, he already attended two meetings of the political board this year, one was about anti-discrimination bill, and the second one was on 5 November to discuss political crisis in the coalition. The members of the coalition claim it is normal that Ivanishvili attends such meetings as he feels responsible for the fate of the coalition.
The smell of his influence can be easily felt when he tries to be everywhere – Ivanishvili is a successful businessman, people remember his charity actions, he changed the government and currently he tries to find his place both in the non-governmental sector and in the media. There are many people who trust him and he has stable rating within Georgian public.
Ivanishvili openly talks about his future plans and claims that he will establish a civil institution “society 2030” that aims to find one vision about the political and social developments of the country. “We need to find one strategy where we want to be by 2030”, he added. This would be his second NGO, although first one (Mokalake “Citizen”) is far to be active. On February 4, this year he made a presentation of “Citizen” Ivanishvili said that the primary task of “Citizen” will be to help the media in different training.
Former PM also planned to fund training for new analysts in agreement with the media outlets. He claimed that he would help with different grants according to their demands to enable all media outlets make full analyses. But later on he noted that there was no interest from journalists and media outlets in this program. Therefore, he decided to create his own TV show where he will explain current situation to public and will make the right analysis. “I will make it clear how state economy works and why some programs do not have results as quickly as expected”, said Ivanishvili.