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Opera star criticized for his pre-election promise

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, August 31
The leader of the political bloc State for the People, Paata Burchuladze stated he would increase the number of socially vulnerable people in Georgia, if his team wins the October 8 parliamentary elections.

The statement was made at Ganmukhuri, where State for People presented its majoritarian candidates in Western Georgia.

“Today, 500,000 people are receiving social assistance. We plan to increase this number up to one million,” Burchuladze addressed the voters.

This statement was followed by criticism from the majority members and political experts. According to the Vice-Premier and Minister of Energy, Kakha Kaladze, Burchuladze’s statement was “thoughtless”.

“I think this statement was thoughtless. I do not know how Burchuladze is going to increase the number of socially vulnerable people,” Kaladze commented.

Member of the Republican Party and Georgia’s ex-Defence Minister, Tinatin Khidasheli, dedicated a post to the promise on her Facebook page, where she said instead of improving socioeconomic situation in the country, Burchuladze promised increasing the number of people dependent on government support.

Zurab Japaridze, founder of political party Girchi which merged with Burchuladze’s party on August 20, says the political bloc has its views concerning the issue-to increase social assistance by abolishing any state assistance to wealthy people.

“The wealthiest 20% of the population will not receive any help from the state and this money will be distributed to the population who really needs it by allowances , health insurance and education finance,” Japaridze said to his opponents.

According to an expert in economics issues, Levan Kalandadze, the statement of Burchuladze is an example of “ignorance, political immaturity and false political populism.”

The expert calls on members of Burchuladze’s political unity to give him instructions before giving similar promises.