Two Republican ministers stand down ahead of Georgian elections
13 July 2016

Two leading ministers are to stand down from Georgia's coalition government ahead of parliamentary elections in October, it was announced on Tuesday evening.

Minister of Defence Tina Khidasheli and Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality Paata Zakaraeishvili have quit their posts as the election campaign gets underway. It was announced in March that the parties making up the Georgian Dream coalition, which has governed Georgia since 2012, will compete in the elections separately rather than on the same ticket.

Prime minister Georgi Kvirikashvili, of Georgian Dream, said the two resignations were agreed. "The coalition parties had consultations over election-related issues and  we made civilised solutions,” he said on Wednesday.

The announcement about the two resignations was made by David Usupashvili, who will head the Republican's list in the upcoming elections. A third Republican cabinet member, Gigla Agulashvili, the Minister of Environmental Protection, has decided to leave the party and remain in the government.

Republicans wanted the departing cabinet ministers to stay in place until the elections, but their larger coalition partner, Georgian Dream, rejected this according to Usupashvili. Republicans are "small in number" in government but "did much” for Georgia, he told journalists.

"We'll continue fight for better Georgia. We'll  announce about the party plans and our election list in the coming days."

SOURCE: and agencies

PHOTO: Tina Khidasheli