Gilauri to make way for a lady14.09.2011 | 14:01
Georgia is shaken with the news on a possible change of PM. Local press reports on Mikheil Saakashvili's plan to knock Nikoloz Gilauri out of his PM seat. As rumored, this decision has nothing to do with the president's desire to find a more efficient manager. The purpose is to distract public attention from problems in economy. Gulbaat Rtskhiladze, head of the Institute of Eurasia, reflects on this strange story together with GeorgiaTimes correspondent.
Rumors that Gilauri will leave his post were disseminated by Alia newspaper. As journalists claim, not only PM is doomed to dismissal: there are several more governmental officials to be fired soon: minister of agriculture Bakur Kvezereli, his colleague from the Ministry of ecology Georgi Hachidze and defense minister Bacho Ahalaya.
What has Mikheil Saakashvili's loyal supporter done wrong to infuriate his master? For over two years and a half he has served his superior faithfully. Never out of line with the party's general line, he's been offering ardent support of his leader's initiatives without showing off before the electorate. He realizes his inability to stand competition with the leader of the Rose Revolution so he keeps his ambitions at bay.
Most probably, rumors on Gilauri's dismissal are connected with general agitation in the run-up to parliamentary election in Georgia. The leader of the republic must clear a political field full of wild grass. Why not throw some influential figures ad leonem? Look at those who are responsible for your troubles - go, eat them! Besides, the opposition has long been calling to punish some ministers. Bakur Kvezereli was severely criticized for inertness that led to a collapse of agriculture. Accordingly, staff shifts in government can be used to subdue protest sentiment in the republic.
It's unlikely the story with Saakashvili's former team will be repeated. Unlike Nino Burdzhanadze, Irakli Alasania and other former supporters of the president in charge of the triumph of the Rose Revolution, these "lambs to the slaughter" have neither charisma, nor self-respect. Their roles in this political show are mute with sycophantic comments. "Dinner is served". But their muteness is OK for everyone. If the boss decides to crown any of them - they are content. When the boss, on the contrary, wipes them off the checkers board they humbly agree.
Who will replace Gilauri? Local experts keep repeating that Mikheil Saakashvili wants to offer this position to Veronica Kobalia, his favorite, now in charge of the Ministry of economy. Her career rise was a shock to everyone expect for that lady herself. She knows well what dazzled the leader of the Georgian state when he appointed her to this responsible job. By all appearances, she won't lose a chance to choose a better one, if offered. However, as Gulbaat Rtskhiladze, a well-known expert believes, Georgia's number one economist should not think about PM-ship. "If this happens the economic and political situation will not improve. What will she do then? She hardly manages to cope with her current tasks. From this point of view Gilauri is the best option, albeit not the brightest. An average man, a typical secretary good at guessing desires and whims of his boss. That is why Saakashvili will not appoint odious Veronica Kobalia to this post unless he's gone completely mad. Her past and scandalous rumors of her flirt with the president the press likes to refer to, is not the point here. First of all, it is not good to Saakashvili from the political point of view", - the expert said in an interview with GeorgiaTimes.
Rtskhiladze also thinks that any shifts in the Cabinet won't affect the line of official Tbilisi inside the country or abroad. Anyway all levers of influence are controlled by the president. "It's not important if it will be Gilauri, Kobalia or anyone else. Nothing will change since Saakashvili keeps full control of Georgia and strings are pulled in the US Embassy. The president won't sacrifice his accomplices to calm down the opposition. After all he realizes that no one will jump at this bait. Besides, we are used to frequent changes in government that bring no real change", - the head of the Institute of Eurasia added.