Ivanishvili showed who's the boss in Georgia
Last night, against the backdground of loud statements made by opposition leaders, especially associates of Mikheil Saakashvili, about “angry response to billionaire,” just a few dozens people came out to express their opposition.
Society wasn't ready for mass protests over decision of chairman of the “Georgian Dream” ruling party, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, to nominate the most controversial of ministers as head of the Cabinet of Ministers: after all, opposition accuses Giorgi Gakharia of “massacre of peaceful demonstrators on June 20." At that time, as a result of clashes at the Rustaveli Avenue between demonstrators and special forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (only minister could give them an order), 240 people were injured, and two demonstrators, including 18-year-old girl, lost eyes due to damage from rubber bullets.
For the entire summer opposition insisted on resignation of Gaharia. He didn't rule out this possibility, hinting that he must first complete the investigation of coup attempt on June 20, and then "he's ready to take full responsibility for excessive use of force by some policemen."
Several opposition leaders and participants in the June protests are either arrested or awaiting their trial. But Gakharia not only didn't resign, but was promoted. Ivanishvili said that he personally proposed his candidacy to members of the GM political council, and they "had no issues with that." He doesn't even try to shift responsibility, openly demonstrating "who's the boss in the country." Moreover, he does that even after ex-president Saakashvili, after appointment of Gakharia, directly called for revolution, saying that from now on, the Ivanishvili regime has become usurping and all means are good against this regime.
Saakashvili’s wife Sandra Rulovs came to a rally near the parliament building and echoed her husband: “If the government doesn't change immediately, Georgia simply won't survive till 2020.”
Small turnout at the rally was a serious blow to the opposition and a huge success for Ivanishvili, who demonstrated to society that he doesn't fear his enemies, especially Saakashvili. In 2020, when parliamentary elections are going to be held in Georgia, "strong representative of authorities power" like Gakharia will attract many voters to the side of the GM party.
The fact that this appointment is associated with upcoming elections is proved by other decision: ex-Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili became the Minister of Defense, and former security guard of billionaire Vakhtang Gomelauri became the Minister of Internal Affairs. Both of them, just like Gakharia, worked with Ivanishvili back in those days when he headed his business empire, and billionaire has complete trust in them.
At the same time, biography of new prime minister is also associated with Russia. He studied at the Moscow State University, was a teacher there, received master's degree in political science and in business management. 44-year-old prime minister headed the East European branch of the German Lufthansa in Moscow and, until 2017, had not only Georgian but also Russian passport. Gakharia gave up his citizenship of the Russian Federation only under pressure from the opposition. These details don't show that he has pro-Russian sentiments, but they will become the main argument of opposition, which plans to launch an election campaign under slogan: “Down with the collaborationist government of the Russian oligarch Ivanishvili.”