Bidzina Ivanishvili is not a victim of misleading facts-Davit Usupashvili
The Speaker met media to echo the statement by the former PM, Bidzina Ivanishvili on activity of the Constitutional Commission made on September 12. He called the statement as false and noted that it is double shame as the source is the former PM.
“I would like to believe that he is not a victim of misleading facts and interpretations and it is not him who deliberately states false information. We, politicians can bring more benefits to the country but we can bring more harm as well and the shortest way of harm to the society is when our words lose weight. I do not want the words of the politicians, political leaders including B. Ivanishvili to lose weight with the statements he made yesterday concerning the State Constitutional Commission, the Chair of the SCC and the merit of the Republicans therein”.
The Speaker called the statement as “groundless” and “bogus” accusations concerning failure of the SCC in definition of the rule of direct Presidential election. He called on the opponents, namely Georgian Dream leaders for fact-based case argument – “let’s argue about the facts and stop building the statements on false and if you fail to find any other defect in me, do recognize it”.
The Speaker introduced the documental papers of the SCC activity and the correspondence. During SCC activity of 4 years and 19 months, 101 concrete documents have been composed and uploaded on the Parliamentary web-site. More than half of the papers were elaborated by Vakhtang Khmaladze and the Republicans and only few by Georgian Dream MP, Manana Kobakhidze who despite her active participation in working group, failed to obtain quorum. “The SCC failed to make decisions because it was de-facto boycotted by UNM having no worries during the last 4 years except self and GD, pledging the country and unfortunately, putting the Constitutional issues aside”. He introduced the letter addressed to the GD political council and provided an extract to media:
- The extended term of the Commission is up to expire. I do not convene the sitting and thus I violate the Statute of the Commission during 8 months. I call on my colleagues in the GD Political Council: competent people started sneering at us because the Coalition fails to demonstrate a common position on any primary issue, which results from most of the Coalition partners waiting the GD positions being non-formulated on any of the issues. The most alarming is that non-formulation of party positions is entailed not with variety of the positions but failure of due development and summarization of the positions in GD.
“Since the statements by others have been accumulated in the SCC by V. Khmaladze, NGOs and experts, I e-mail to the Coalition members and leaders: “see attached material on Constitutional changes to exercise. Let’s consider them in Faction regime and then at the joint sitting” – and I have detailed information on every issue related to the Constitution. Response – zero! Then, along with young experts, V. Khmaladze and others I developed a new document accumulating all normative documents detailed and considered for my colleagues never putting an eye on the Constitution during 4 years. I write: “current edition, offered change. For results, asked by you at the Commission sittings, I explain that the issues should have been just “marked” – agree, disagree or abstain. Hoping to speak at the Commission sitting, naming others but only myself and V. Khmaladze that two of us support something. Response – zero! I have been told that I have done nothing and failed the SCC activity! It is a shame Mr. Ivanishvili. How can you hope for people to believe you after this statement and I do not want Georgian people to have fate of leaders without authority. The vacuum is immense enough in political space”.
The Speaker spoke about Presidential election and noted that during 1993-1995 Constitutional reform, the Republicans had intact position about indirect election of the President. “We used to tell that directly elected President would do no good for the country. We witnessed it – it did no good. The Parliamentary model shall envisage the President to be elected not by people but directly”. He recalled the statements by V. Khmaladze in 2013 concerning indirect Presidential elections and spoke about reactions it entailed.
The Coalition and B. Ivanishvili explained the statement by Republicans with enhancement of their positions in the Parliament and the will to weaken the President. “Now the Republicans are blamed of direct election of the President. What should we do? Should we 9 times duplicate our votes and record in the Constitution about otherwise election of the President? It goes beyond political debates and I cannot even tell what it is. But we speak about Georgia, Georgian Constitution, political process. Such attitude to the Constitution, state and law is inadmissible”.
The Speaker ended with the address to B. Ivanishvili.
“This is my response to what he probably misunderstood or was misled or misinterpreted. When I said that I am not interested in disclosure of such issues because we were together assuming responsibility and suffering- me and Mr. Ivanishvili – I want to speak to the society about my future visions of the country, our defense, economics, security, happiness etc. instead of the hell we’ve been through 4-5 years. I mean that if anyone tries to publish false and groundless information about the hereof evens, I will have to elucidate, provide documents and it is what our society needs because it will do no harm to me, with such groundless accusations. Maybe, B. Ivanishvili and others know better how to maintain the value of stocks and property but I know how to keep valuable my words”.
The meeting resumed with questions.
“Rustavi 2” journalist, Natia Goksadze asked about urgency of the SCC activity issue by former PM recently instead of making statements at due time by Republicans for instance. The Speaker elucidated that the reason is unknown for him and the question should better be asked to B. Ivanishvili. As to why the Speaker did not mention it earlier, he stated that each fact he spoke of or does not mention today, could be an interesting material for journalists but he is to do his work in the Parliament instead of entertaining people.
“During this months and the last 1.5 year I used to write in within the Coalition because of the result, the draft Constitutional Changes, supported by GD instead of making statement after a week’s work that they do nothing. State cases need statehood approach which means debates, arguments within. You cannot imagine how emotional I was. I wanted the draft to be supported by the Coalition to pass to the Parliament. I summed up the SCC activity together with you because we have the result as it is. The decision was not made and all the minutes of the meeting are public and available. I and other responsible politicians and state figures in GD or Republicans refused to speak about many issues and you say I should speak publicly… meanwhile, we are in pre-election campaign and we discuss some issues in public format but I do not think that consideration of false information should be publicly discussed. Let’s speak about the draft changes. Let B. Ivanishvili express his position, whether he has a good candidate for the next elections, if we wants direct Presidential elections in this case of indirect if he has a bad candidate. Let’s speak about his position on Constitutional issues tomorrow. It would be better”.
“Imedi” journalist asked about the statement by MIA on provocations by some political parties in pre-election period. The Speaker noted that MIA is responsible for order in the country and it is no surprise if the Minister makes preventive statements. “I think the Minister is a discreet person with a good vision of MIA role in pre-election process. We need not general consumptions from the Ministers about expected provocations but the facts or accomplished case, or prevented offense, etc. otherwise we may facilitate to tension of the situation”.
“Maestro” journalist asked about possible candidacy to the Secretary of the Security Council to be Vano Machavariani and the position of the Republicans. As a response, it was stated that the President has not conversed with the Speaker about this issue and he should not as it is up to him. “Security Council is a suffered instance. So, I would like to see the Secretary who can ensure due operation of the NSC under the conditions we have. However, I hope that the worse is behind. By the way, we even had a law on NSC which was suspended in 2013 with the request of B. Ivanishvili when we were bringing the legislation in compliance with the Constitution. We adopted changes to 170 laws according the new Constitution granting authorities. B. Ivanishvili told me that the President is upset about the hallow draft, reserving no rights to the President. I told him to be calm as the draft would be resumed after elections. We did so and not the positions were contrary. NSC is an important agency and the Secretary shall be serious, intelligent and experienced”.
He answered the questions about Republicans-former PM relations and noted that B. Ivanishvili was the best partner for Republicans for a long time in GD. “In 2011, when he made the statement about coming to politics and said he wanted cooperation with Republicans and Free Democrats. Then we had a reasonable conversation about: multi-party democracy, Parliamentary system, foreign orientation, self-governance, values, human rights etc. and we had a good partnership when reforming in self-governance and when no one wanted it except a few persons when we were adopting the anti-discriminative law and making other decisions. So, we had a productive cooperation for some period. We well understood that 2012-2016 Parliament and the Government was the authority combating Saakashvili’s regime and since 2016, we saw the future based on other principles”.