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President Margvelashvili: This Masquerade of Selecting Prime Ministers Has to End – I Call on the Ruling Party to Appoint Bidzina Ivanishvili as the Prime Minister

Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia has attended the 15th international conference titled Georgia's European Way and addressed the audience.
"I hope that today's gathering will be another step forward on the path of Georgia’s European integration; the path that is clearly defined by the Government, opposition and entire society as the top priority for national development. Everyone who monitors the current dynamic process of policy formation in Georgia, clearly sees how significant the European integration is in our daily political agenda. The fact that Georgia is the leader of the European process vividly reflects the importance that we attach to the European integration process.
I would like to welcome intensive discussions that are taking place in the European Parliament about the crucial and painful topic for Georgia, occupation of Georgia by the Russian Federation that happened 10 years ago. I am convinced that the resolution to be adopted will adequately assess those actions that our Northern neighbor carries out against Georgia and facilitate resolution of this conflict.
Today, obviously, I would like to touch upon yesterday’s events and the political process triggered by resignation of the Prime Minister of Georgia. First of all, I would like to stress that I have worked with 4 high ranking officials, meaning Mr. Gharibashvili, Mr. Kvirikashvili, Mr. Usupashvili and Mr. Kobakhidze. Among them, I would like to highlight that I had the most comfortable working experience with Mr. Kvirikashvili, the third Prime Minister who resigned. He had clearly defined and understandable visions about his duties and directions of the country’s development.
There are questions in the society about the reasons of Mr. Kvirikashvili resignation. I cannot say that Georgian economy and prosperity of Georgian citizens are at the highest level, but I cannot say that Mr. Kvirikashvili's efforts were unsuccessful either. I discussed economic problems in the Parliament about a month ago but received total rejection. Suddenly the UNICEF survey made it clear for the Georgian Government that indeed there are problems in economy. I would like to point out that steps taken by Mr. Kvirikashvili's team to improve the country’s economy in the course of these two years should not be assessed as unsuccessful and negative.
Considering this context, it is absolutely unclear why the ongoing political processes and the key problem in justice system, actively protested by the society are left unaddressed. The society has been taking a firm stand on problems in justice system for about a month; however, we are presented with a new version of reality as if, considering to the UNICEF survey, Mr. Kvirikashvili resigned because he could not develop the proper economic policy. We are talking about the Prime Minister who could be described as a person who has taken key steps in this direction. 
All mentioned, including Mr. Giorgi’s resignation report should become parts of our European, transparent and understandable policy. Yesterday, Mr. Prime Minister said while announcing resignation that he should give the Chairman of the ruling party, Bidzina Ivanishvili opportunity to compose the new Government.
I believe that these processes should be much more clear and foreseeable to our society. I think, the society should be able to understand why successful prime ministers resign. When the former Prime Minister, Mr. Gharibashvili resigned, we heard the same that he was a successful leader. Why do successful prime ministers resign? What is the argument behind their resignation? According to what criteria are new prime ministers selected?
I believe that this masquerade of sudden selection of prime ministers should end. According to what principles are they selected is unclear both for our society and our foreign partners. This process should end. If we are talking about the European aspirations and formation of the European country, prime ministers in the European countries are leaders of ruling parties; therefore, Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of the ruling party should become the new prime minister, if we are talking about responsible policy and formation of the state process that is clear to the society. If we are talking about the appointment of a prime minister who is responsible for his decisions and has power and ability to carry out these decisions. This is the reality we are facing, and this is how the European political culture is formed. I am saying this today because we are gathered here to discuss Georgia’s European path.
Therefore, I believe that this should be the end of this process when we are unaware according to what criteria and who dismisses and appoints prime ministers. I call on responsible political parties, especially the ruling party to take responsibility before the society and nominate the leader of the ruling party as the new prime minister. I have collaborated with this person and based on my working experience, I can say that he was a good leader. I worked with Bidzina Ivanishvili when I was a minister and our cooperation was positive, interesting and effective. Overall, this masquerade, in my view, causes harm to Georgia, the country’s European choice and stability.
Once again, I welcome you all to this important gathering. The major theme to discuss on this gathering is crucial for strategic and tactical directions of our everyday political life. I wish you good luck. I hope that open, transparent and democratic process in Georgia, including the process of selecting prime ministers will further assure us that we are an open political society and in this open process we make correct, democratic and transparent decisions for people,” President Margvelashvili said.
Annual conference Georgia's European Way is organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia in cooperation with GLOBSEC and Austrian Development Agency. Members of executive and legislative governments of Georgia, the EU and Eastern Partnership countries, as well as representatives of civil society, think-tanks, media and business sectors have attended the conference.
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