TBILISI, DFWatch–Bidzina Ivanishvili, the businessman who created the Georgian Dream coalition, on Wednesday criticized the president in an interview with Imedi TV.
For the last year, the president and prime minister in Georgia have been in a subdued conflict.
It began when President Giorgi Margvelashvili decided to start using a palace built by the previous regime as his office, and the rivalry became more pronounced as he took a number of steps contradicting the positions of the Georgian Dream coalition, like vetoing legislative amendments several times.
Ivanishvili says Margvelashvili is really trying to show that he plays an important role these days in the process of selecting a candidate for head of Supreme Court.
“I must give [the president] a new reprimand because he got used to establishing the term ‘head of state’, and the public and media keep repeating it.”
He said that the term ‘head of state’ is formally correct, but the constitution doesn’t give him much power.
“But he tries to transform the term into content and keeps raising issues very high.”
The Constitution was amended during the previous government on initiative by Mikheil Saakashvili, who decided to reduce the power of the president while increasing the power of the prime minister. This was seen as preparations for himself to assume the post of PM, as he had served the maximum term of ten years as president. But this plan failed when the Georgian Dream coalition was formed and won a majority in the 2012 election.
Even though the coalition criticized the constitutional amendments, it didn’t change them after coming to power. After Ivanishvili began criticizing Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Garibashvili became involved in the conflict with the president and has tried to deprive him of more powers.
“When it comes to the Supreme Court, they are trying to raise this issue as well, artificially raise it, to present it as if Margvelashvili is doing magic. He is obliged and must name a candidate in time,” Ivanishvili said.
He went on to say that he doesn’t see a need for replacing the prime minister and the current government is working effectively.
“What do they want of this government? Do they slow down anything? What is not done? This is how we should criticize the government,” he said. “The Energy Ministry, Economy or Finance Ministries or even the PM separately, what is they should be doing or isn’t doing? This should be the starting point and not generally unemployment or something else.”
He said things which need to be done within 20 years will start eventually.