GEO / RUS       12+

Soso Tsiskarishvili: Police is Tamed Next is Georgian Army

About respondent

Tbilisi. 31.08 09.GHN. In the executive power the next reshuffle done. They say this is not the last one. During one week two important positions were regrouped - Economic and Defense Ministries changed its heads. Former diplomat Davit Sikharulidze and Lasha Jzvania did not "justified hopes" of the government. So will or not justify the hopes Bacho Akhalaia and the former envoy Zurab Pololikashvili. Against which enemy is preparing the army by government - the internal one or against Russia. And one more question - can the new Economic Minister to carry out reforms and provide for influx of foreign investments. About this questions the news agency GHN hold a discussion with political scientist Soso Tsiskarishvli.

- Mr. Soso, the next one Cabinet reshuffle has been done in Georgia. The ministers who were appointed 9 month ago were replaced again. By yours opinion, is it good for the effective functioning of the Cabinet such frequent replacement of ministers?
-Every game has its rules. During one time of football it is possible to change several players. The frequency of replacements in the government depends upon the vision of the government itself. The Less democracy is in the country, the more frequent changes may happen.
Once we were told, why was replaced Lasha Jzvania and nobody talks about replacement of Davit Sikharulidze. The process is not transparent, that will badly affect our country.
They said that the controversies with Bacho Akhalaia were reasons for resignation of the former head of General Headquarters (Sikharulidze was appointed to the post of Defense Minister after the war). These rumors makes us to suppose that the appointment of Akhalaia was intended after the war, moreover that he was appointed as a deputy minister. The reason for choosing of Akhalaia is simple one: when the police is already "done" and tamed for "Misha", now is the army's turn. But nobody knows will it help us in fight with the enemies.
It is worth to note as well that, it is several years already that the decision about appointment of the Defense Minister is not taken in the "Georgian palaces" only. We know that such decisions are submitted to the White House's approval. Now we are coming to the understanding that the White House is not only in Washington it is as well in Moscow. Now it is clear who's interests serves the resentfulness of Georgian Army upon its government, - not in the interests of Georgia's strategic partner but in the interests of its enemy. Why such decision was taken we will see soon. We already saw what did Kezerashvili (former Defense Minister) for us, who has the same authority and was appointed for the same reasons as Akhalaia. However he has a task in financial area but not in the ideology. He accomplished this task very well. We will wait for the events; it is difficult to say anything beforehand.

- How do you think can Akhalaia to fulfill the President's obligations about the increasing of alertness of the army for defense from the aggressive neighbor country?

-Bacho Akhalaia has an interesting experience in his life. He became a famous person after his appointment as deputy Public Defender. There was such huge inconsistence between his natural human qualities and the human rights defense, that the government decided to appoint him to the place were he is more appropriate. He was head of Prison's Department. He was skilled in the business of taming prisoners, now he will do the same with Army, for the Army not to become too dangerous for government. The competitive spirit of the Army is very low after the August 2008 war, now it is necessary to raise it.

- In the last period in the Cabinet former diplomats are appointed. How can you explain such tendencies? Moreover that the ministers are required to provide as much influx of investments as possible, and this is the criteria of its successfulness.
I think that in connection with the influx of foreign investments we have not an adequate vision. It is considered that this business can do only those people who are less than 30 years old and are skilled in foreign languages. We will see the results of such selection.
What about the diplomatic experience among the Cabinet Ministers. This is quite appropriate tendency. But I think that people making such frequent changes are too weak to make real changes.
The main is what a person can really to do holding his Office but not only the name of the Minister. They think that really they are ministers. But our economy is ruled by Bendukidze's team and no any first person in the Economic Ministry has a real power.
Bendukidze's goal is not a free trade agreement with EU. This is proved by ignorance of many legislative questions. I wonder how they will provide the visa simplification regime with EU, when Parliament is not going to pass the Bill on migration.
- Interior Minister recently visited USA. He spent a month there. Possibly he has very serious questions to agree with Washington.

-Exactly, the questions could be wide enough. But what we can say about results. As seems Pentagon and Washington are not protesting against the person appointed as a Defense Minster. At the same time the information was given that Georgia will be one of 12 countries which will accept Guantanamo prisoners. If this will happen this will be one more approval of devotion of our government to USA. I think Merabishvili talked about this issue with high ranks in USA.
- It must to be noted that Georgian Foreign Ministry denied this information, about sending of Guantanamo prisoners to Georgia, categorically.
- Very well, but you know I prefer to trust to "Washington Post", than to Washadze, Foreign Minister.

- Opposition is talking again about the political repressions against opponents. It is necessary again to negotiate. But they only talk about this necessity
-Of course. The government exploits this subject as propaganda for foreigners. And opposition supports the government in this. Now they are talking together about it in eager rivalry. However the process is not going.
I believe that between government and opposition there is no trust. So we cannot expect any results from it. The only way is to invite some authoritative foreigner as a mediator but the government will not allow such precedent. Now in Georgia the legislation is more strict and tough than it was during the Stalin's regime. For minor hooliganism people are arrested not for 15 days but for 90. It is 6 -times stricter than regime of Putin or Stalin.

-Nino Burjanadze's cottage will be sold soon. She received it as a present from President for symbolic price 1 GEL... Do you think this is a good policy?
- Starting from 2008 summer I told more than once that this present was a mined one and it could explode. I never had a suspicion that the motivation for explosion will arise.
No doubt Nino Burjanadze nowadays is most inconvenient politician for Mikheil Saakashvili. As she knows many things better than anyone else. And she is quite independent in judging of representatives of political elite.

Lela Bagdavadze