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Ex-PM Urges People Support Ruling Team in Runoff

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, November 9
Georgian Former Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who resigned in June due to his controversies with the founder of the Georgian Dream party, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, uploaded his status on Facebook on Wednesday, in which he appealed to the population to stand by the ruling team supported presidential candidate Salome Zourabichvili in the runoff.

After about an hour from releasing the post, Kvirikashvili deactivated his Facebook page.

In the address, Kvirikashvili said that he has always supported the values of the Georgian Dream ruling party and the Georgian people protected in 2012 when Ivanishvili-founded Georgian Dream coalition defeated the nine-year-rule of the United National Movement.

Kvirikashvili stated that the values still need to be safeguarded.

He said that his statement did not mean that he became politically active and added that he was not going to speak about the past despite the fact he has “much to be proud of and to regret”.

Kvirikashvili’s statement came shortly after the public address of Ivanishvili when the latter asked former members of the Georgian Dream coalition to stand by the ruling party not to allow the “revanchist force” return back to power.

One of the leaders of the Republican Party Levan Berdzenishvili, the former member of the Georgian Dream coalition who now supporters the United National Movement presidential candidate Grigol Vashadze, said that "it seems Kvirikshvili interpreted Ivanishvili's statement so that he should support Salome Zurabishvili in exchange for not being arrested.”

Political expert Gia Khukhashvili wrote that Kvirikashvili offered a “toast” in which a disappointment with Ivanishvili was obvious.

Ivanishvili had accused Kvirikashvili and former Finance Minister Dimitri Kumsishvili of not providing the restrictions, which deprived the people with low incomes of taking high bank loans.

Ivanishvili believed that the main problem in the country was created by taking high loans by people with low incomes, which finally led to poverty, to which opposition responded that the main reason of poverty is the “government’s disability and the wrong economic policy”.