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President Says Gov’t Failed to Empower State Institutions

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, May 3
(TBILISI)--- Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili stated during his annual address in Parliament on Wednesday that despite progress in many directions the current state leadership failed to create stronger state intuitions and didn’t manage to enhance democracy.

Both the ruling party members and the opposition representatives were discontent with the speech. As an act of protest, Margvelashvili quit the debates and left the Parliament, noting that the lawmakers were asking “abstract questions” and that he did not have a chance to participate in debates.

“We have achieved significant progress in many directions since coming to power in 2012, in terms of the state foreign policy among them. However, our state institutions have been weakened and we failed to create a more democratic state,” Margvelashvili said.

He added that the state leadership also failed to fire and punish those individuals who were violating fundamental human rights under the United National Movement leadership.

“Unfortunately, such people still retain their jobs in the Prosecutor’s Office, other law enforcement agencies or state bodies,” Margvelashvili said.

He also negatively assessed the rejection of the National Security Council, which acted under the president to cope with security challenges.

“Reflection of the body [initiated by the Georgian Dream government] in the situation when Russia is a permanent threat for our security, was a huge mistake,” Margvelashvili stated.

The president said that no forcible methods have been used against the media and the area has been more free than under the previous state leadership.

“However, certain, not forcible methods are being reported against the media and journalists still have to work in a tense environment,” Margvelashvili said.

The president stated that the state economy was in a poor condition.

“I will remind the words of my late friend, former PM Zurab Zhvania, that the best indicator of a state’s economic condition is a fridge. When you open the fridge, you will see how a family may live,” the president said.

He stated that unemployment was one of the most serious problems for Georgia and those people who have jobs had to bear inhuman treatment and violation of their working rights to preserve the jobs.

Together with lawmakers, spiritual figures and representatives from diplomatic corps in Georgia, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and government members attended the occasion.

The PM stated that he was waiting for a better address, with more analyses and ways how certain problems named by the president could be settled.

The parliamentary opposition also looked discontent with the speech, as they believed the president refrained from speaking on more problems, such as corruption or a higher rate of criminal.

They also said that the president should have spoken more widely about the occupation issues and detention and killing of Georgian citizens by Russians.

Margvelashvili ends his five-year term as a president this year. He has not yet stated whether he will participate in the race this autumn.