(Civil.Ge) — Georgia’s Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli and State Minister for Reconciliation Paata Zakareishvili will quit their cabinet posts as the Republican Party is launching a campaign for the October 8 parliamentary elections.
Third cabinet member from the Republican Party, Gigla Agulashvili, the Minister of Environment Protection, has decided to quit the party and remain in the government.
The announcement was made on July 12 by speaker of the outgoing Parliament, Davit Usupashvili, who will lead Republicans’ party list of MP candidates.
“We are ending our coalition cooperation with [GDDG ruling party]. We are proud that we have done lots of deeds with our partners over the past four years, but the country needs much more,” Usupashvili said.
GDDG and the Republican Party first announced about the intention to run separately and not under the joint ticket in the upcoming elections in late March, 2016.
Usupashvili said that although the Georgian Dream ruling coalition parties decided several months ago to part ways for the upcoming elections, the Republicans “continued performing their duties including in the government.”
“If we want Europe, we should learn this tradition when multi-party coalitions work before the end of elections. We offered it to our partners from the GDDG party as we were ready for our members to remain in the government before the end of elections and to engage in election campaign without them [Republican members of government],” he said.
“GDDG decided otherwise as it thought that multi-party coalition is unacceptable during the pre-election campaign period,” Usupashvili said.
“Therefore the Republican members of the government – Khidasheli and Zakareishvili – will quit their ministerial posts… they will switch to party activities in few days. As far as Environment Minister Gigla Agulashvili is concerned he decided otherwise; he quit the Republican Party and he remains on his cabinet post,” Usupashvili said.
“From today we are launching election campaign and from now on each and every day will be used for achieving success in the upcoming elections, in order to be present in the next Parliament and to continue participation in the development of the country,” he said.
It was also announced on July 12 that MP Davit Berdzenishvili will lead Republicans’ party list of candidates for the election of local parliament in the Adjara Autonomous Republic; elections in this Black Sea region in western Georgia will be held simultaneously with the parliamentary elections on October 8.
PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who also chairman of the ruling GDDG party, has yet to name new defense minister and state minister for reconciliation.
Defense Minister, Tina Khidasheli, said on Tuesday that she and the PM would agree on precise date of her resignation after she returns from the U.S. visit this month.
These upcoming changes in the government will not require approval from the Parliament, which is now in summer recess; confidence vote from the legislative body is only needed when PM or more than one-third of 20-member cabinet is replaced.