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Defence Minister will not leave the coalition

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, March 3
Georgia’s Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheli told Rustavi 2 that the Industrial Party’s “attack” on the Republican Party was aimed at pushing the Republicans into the opposition.

The Minister, who represents the Republican Party, stressed that the same tactic was used against the Free Democrats (FD) party in 2014, when several Defence Ministry employees were charged and detained, after which then-Defence Minister and the head of the FD Irakli Alasania had to quit his post.

Alasania stated at the time that the process was staged personally against him as he achieved success in terms of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic progress in the defence field ,and emphasized that the negative campaign against him put Georgia’s foreign course at risk; he was subsequently dismissed for his comments.

Since then, Alasania has stated two of the main perpetrators in the developments against him were the founder of the Georgian Dream coalition (GD) Bidzina Ivanishvili and Georgia’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

Khidasheli said Alasania should have controlled his nerves and stayed in the coalition.

“The only purpose of this campaign was to make us go into opposition. Their tactics were designed to get on our nerves. I believe that Alasania let his nerves get the better of him, and I think that they should not have gone to the opposition.

“Today it is a very popular question amongst the media and the public – 'Who will be next to go from the coalition'? I can say with confidence that I am not going anywhere,” said Khidasheli.

In response, Alasania said he has strong nerves and high self-esteem, and told Khidasheli that the Republicans only had to cope with the Industrial Party and its leader Gogi Topadze, when he and his party had to contend with Ivanishvili and Garibashvili.

Topadze claims that the Republicans are an anti-state force and accuses Khidasheli of rigging the recent by-elections in Sagarejo.

The Prosecutor’s Office has already launched an investigation into the Sagarejo election issue.

Khidasheli said it looked to be a personal decision of current Chief Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze and said the Prosecutor’s office was likely to do the same against her as it did against Alasania, though she said they would find no violations or inappropriate conduct.

Meanwhile, the Industrial Party also says they will not leave the coalition.

If the situation continues, either the Republicans or the Industrials will have to quit the coalition prior to the parliamentary elections; their individual party ratings are quite low.

The statements made by Khidasheli also raise question marks to the Prosecutor’s Office and the Prosecutor who was approved by Parliament with a majority of votes.