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Tbilisi Mayor Denies Confrontation between PM and Parliament Speaker

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, April 18
Tbilisi Mayor and member of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party Kakha Kaladze excludes any confrontation between the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili and the Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze

Kaladze assures that there was no written correspondence between the Prime Minister and the Parliament's Speaker, as reported by the opposition-minded Rustavi 2 TV earlier.

The mayor asserts that the processes in the ruling party are underway in ordinary regime and the difference in opinions is natural. According to him, the majority continues to work in the usual manner. The Mayor said nobody is going to be dismissed from GD, as claimed by some GD parliamentarians.

"There is no danger of splitting the majority into two. Maybe certain groups want this but it will not happen. The majority continues working in normal regime. When discussions are underway in the team, there emerge different opinions and it is a normal process," Kaladze said.

A few days ago Rustavi 2 publicized an alleged conversation of GD group chat, in which PM Kvirikashvili slams Kobakhidze for not taking into account his notes about internal disagreement within the majority.

“During the communication process with the lawmakers, a lot of mistakes have been made and my notes have not been taken into account, which is sad…I hope this will be sorted and we will not have such problems in the future,” the alleged message of the PM reads.

Rustavi 2 claims that Kobakhidze was upset that Kvirikashvili addressed him in the joint chat and spoke about this with the Head of the Press Service of PM, Mako Bigvava.

“Maiko, it is very bad when the Prime Minister writes a personal message to the Speaker of the Parliament not in person but in the general chat. It would be good if you had notified me about it earlier,” the alleged message of Kobakhidze reads.

Disagreement within the majority started after April 4, 2018, when several majority MPs supported the candidate of the minority, Ninia Kakabadze, on the post of the Georgian Public Broadcaster board of trustees.

MP of GD, Gedevan Popkhadze slammed his teammates for supporting a candidate, famous for her anti-church statements, which was followed by some harsh comments from the Parliament Speaker, Irakli Kobakhidze, who accused Popkhadze of “betraying” the party.

After this, some GD parliamentarians took the side of Popkhadze and criticized Kobakhidze, while the Speaker also gained some supporters, who stated that certain MPs had made “grave mistakes.”

Moreover, GD parliamentarian, Nukri Kantaia stated Kobakhidze and his supporters made up a list of GD MPs, who will be dismissed from the party.

Gedevan Popkhadze said on April 13 that he will make the final decision about leaving GD after the meeting of the majority.