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PM accuses former officials in misleading allies

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, November 11
Maia Panjikidze accuses Irakli Gharibashvili of creating a very unhealthy environment in fields where Georgia’s policy in being formed. The former official does not rule out a deliberate plan as well, which envisaged removing her and the former Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili together with Alasania.

Panjikidze stated that Gharibashvili must have known that she and Petriashvili would resign in the case of Alasania’s dismissal owing to their close relationship with the former Defense Minister. “However, Gharibashvili did not hold a single consultation with us.” She believes without a doubt that these drafted plans were premeditated.

Panjikidze also stresses that she respects the new Defence Minister Mindia Janelidze, but she emphasizes that the man lacks experience in the defense field.

“I know that he is completely inexperienced and has absolutely nothing to do with this sphere, while the former Defense Minister was a man with vast experience, as well as a great deal of acquaintances abroad. Thus, he could have pulled strings and tackled this or that issue anytime… and what now? There is not even a shadow of doubt that granting this post to an inexperienced man is nothing good, as it will undoubtedly move us backwards,” Panjikidze says.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili called the statements made by Panjikidze irresponsible. However, he recognized that his offending statements towards Alasania were made hastily and now regrets the language he used (he called Alasania unprofessional and reckless). Gharibashvili accuses the former ministers in failure in their duties and states that there is still the perception in Europe and America that political persecution and selective justice is being used by the Georgian government, and that this is the direct responsibility of Alasania, Panjikidze and Petriashvili.

“I want to say that when Irakli Alasania arrived in Europe and America, he openly said that the reforms implemented during Saakashvili’s regime were exemplary and there were no talks about sadistic murders, torture, inhumane treatment, and human rights violations committed during the former government of Georgia. Naturally, Maia Panjikidze was doing the same and the incorrect perception that still exists in Europe and America cannot be removed,” Gharibashvili said. The PM stressed that he had serious doubts that this was a deliberate plan to mislead the United States and Europe.

Commenting on the future ministers, Gharibashvili said that he has not selected them yet.

Panjikidze called the allegations “absurd” and stressed that she was doing her best while being in office to benefit the country. “I am not going to comment on his statements more,” Panjikidze said.