Former GD Prime Ministers Express Support to Zurabishvili

Former Georgian Dream Prime Ministers Irakli Garibashvili and Giorgi Kvirikashvili have expressed their support to the ruling party-backed presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili.

Irakli Garibashvili, who ran the country’s cabinet of ministers from November 2013 to December 2015, issued a Facebook post on November 26, two days before the runoff elections. His successor, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who served as the head of government from December 2015 to June 2018, published a Facebook post on November 7.

Below are the full texts of their statements:

Irakli Garibashvili: Fellow compatriots, three years have passed since I quit politics, but just like you, I am thinking about the country’s fate and its future with my whole heart and mind. The ongoing political processes, independent from our decisions and regardless of whether we want it or not, concerns us all – be it those engaged in active politics or ordinary citizens. The recent developments worry me deeply, so I decided to address you publicly: In 2012, the Georgian people under the leadership of Bidzina Ivanishvili ended Saakashvili’s violent regime, a regime that went against national values. The entire nation got together to change Saakashvili’s unjust, oppressive and violent government, but unfortunately the first round of Presidential elections have showed us what would have been unimaginable in 2012 or in 2016. This is not the right time to discuss its reasons, however. The dirty rhetoric and disinformation propaganda coming from them, describes them best: starting from state treason and ending with selling many strategic assets to the occupant country or loss of territories, cooperation with terrorists and criminals, tortures and killings of innocent people, poverty, oppressive banking system, business terror and property confiscations, imprisonment of tens of thousands, inequalities and injustices. We remember very well the commander-in-chief lying on the ground, how he let our heroes behind during the war; we remember all his crimes committed against the people. In fact, all of these happened not too long ago. Criminals of this legacy disguised as politicians should not have a right and should not seek to return to power. Therefore, we all need to stand together, put aside our personal affairs and express our final rejection to traitor Saakashvili and the political force that goes against national values.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili: I support the values that I have believed in for my entire conscious life; the values the depth of which has been taught to us by our country’s history, and the example of which were given to us by our parents and ancestors, by our friends and prominent members of our country, as well as those who have been unknown to the public. These values have always been dear to me, including in the autumns of 2007 and 2011, and in 2012 and 2016 when majority of the Georgian people voted for these values. I have remained silent for the last few months, and likewise, I am not planning to engage in politics, but not because I have nothing to say: there is a lot I take pride in and a lot I regret, and this is part of who I am. But despite everything and considering everything, these values need to be saved; they need to be saved now and permanently; our nation will not tire in this endless effort, and so will I.

The first round of presidential election was held on October 28. No candidate garnered more than 50% of votes. The two top contenders – Salome Zurabishvili and Grigol Vashadze – finished with 38.64% and 37.74%, respectively. The runoff will be held on November 28.

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