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PM Mamuka Bakhtadze announces his resignation with a Facebook post

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Tuesday, September 3
Mamuka Bakhtadze, who was the Prime Minister of Georgia for 14 months, announced that he would resign from the post on his Facebook page on September 2. The rumors of his resignation were being reported for the last few weeks by several Georgian media outlets, according to one of the sources, the new Prime Minister is going to be a current Minister of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Gakharia.

Bakhtadze posted an extensive letter on Facebook about his resignation. He detailed the period of his time in the office and also talked about the "5 principles that form the cornerstone of the government". Bakhtadze assessed his one-year rule as successful, though he did not say why he decided to leave at the time of such success.

Former Prime Minister has addressed several issues in his farewell Facebook post, including economic development, excessive debt and the concept of education. Also, Bakhtadze expressed his gratitude to several individuals and groups.

Bakhtadze also held a meeting with talk show hosts, where he talked about many key issues. He also noted that in the morning of September 3, a new candidate for the position would be announced.

He thanked Bidzina Ivanishvili, the founder of the Georgian Dream, for the "new opportunities" after the 2012 elections. The former PM thanked the Cartu Foundation for nullifying the loan for 600,000 people.

The former Prime Minister thanked his predecessors and wished success to his successor. At the same time, he thanked the employees of state agencies, civil society, international partners and the private sector.

He also expressed his gratitude towards people of Georgia and noted that their “support, advice, criticism has been and is a major driving force in building the country." Bakhtadze says that he has no interest to stay in active politics after resigning as prime minister. According to him, he will be a member of the political council of the Georgian Dream.

As Bakhtadze said, he started consultations with the Georgian Dream's chairman, Bidzina Ivanishvili, about the resignation in late spring. According to him, the talks lasted for several months.

According to Bakhtadze, the events of June 20 will always remain a huge pain for him. He also talked about his words, were he says that “bullets will never be the handwriting of the Georgian Dream.” According to him, he saw the footage and thinks that “the passive cordon could not physically resist the storm anymore. They had to use special means, unfortunately.”

According to the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia, Archil Talakvadze, Bakhtadze decided to resign from the position of Prime Minister by himself. Talakvadze also noted that Bakhtadze made a good explanation about it. “This is his decision and he explained it very well during a meeting with the media,” said Talakvadze.

The Speaker of Parliament also responded to the issue of the changes in the parliament, however, Talakvadze did not specify who will replace Bakhtadze and if other officials will also be replaced.

According to one of the members of the European Georgia, Sergi Kapanadze, Bakhtadze is the Prime Minister, “who will never remain in the history of Georgia.”

“We all understand very well that it was not Bakhtadze’s decision to resign, and neither was it his decision to become a PM. It was Ivanishvili’s decision,” noted Kapanadze. According to him, now the most important part is if Ivanishvili will “dare to appoint Gakharia as the Prime Minister.”

Tbilisi Mayor, Kakha Kaladze, stressed that the population doesn't need to be provided with information on television. Kaladze responded to the post of Bakhtadze on Facebook, and said that social media represents “one of the best ways of communication in today’s world.”

Zviad Dzidziguri, a member of the ruling party, said that after Bakhtadze's election as prime minister, the rates of poverty reduction remained the same. According to him, Bakhtadze considered it a matter of his responsibility and it was the reason for his resignation.

As Dzidziguri said, the decision was made by Bakhtadze himself. "It was agreed with the ruling party. Anyone who met Ivanishvili knows that he does not talk in the language of ultimatums,” noted Dzidziguri.

As Eka Beselia, member of the Parliament says, she does not expect any surprises. “I see a cascade of mistakes and a crisis in the Government, as well as an absolutely irresponsible attitude towards the public,” noted Beselia.

Also, Beselia said that Georgian Dream will appoint Gakharia as the Prime Minister. “The changes are directly aimed at strengthening or maintaining the power of the ruling party today. How can they strengthen their power is a separate issue, and I’m far from it, but these are not the solutions that the country needs to create a better reality that is needed,” she stated.

Many media outlets have been reporting Mamuma Bakhtadze's resignation. According to them, the new Prime Minister will be Giorgi Gakharia, while the former Prime Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili, will become a Minister of Internal Affairs.