Further divide in Georgian coalition as high-ranking official steps down

Former Minister Panjikidze

Former Minister Panjikidze

Georgian Foreign Minister Maia (Maya) Panjikidze has become the latest governmental official to leave Georgia’s ruling coalition following her resignation earlier this week.

News of the former Minister’s resignation comes just one day after Defense Minister Irakli Alasania was dismissed for comments made in relation to the recent arrest of MOD officials in what Alasania branded an ‘obviously political’ incident.

In her resignation Panjikidze also announced that she would be leaving the Democratic Georgia party, who are chaired by the current Prime Minister.

It is believed that Panjikidze’s resignation was given as a response to the firing of close political ally Irakli Alasania in an attempt to further undermine Georgia’s coalition government, who are now suffering following a growing rift among political parties.

Panjikidze’s resignation also came the same day that Alasania’s party, the Free Democrats, announced that they would leave the coalition in response to the dismisal.

The departure of Pajikidze and the Free Democrats has been seen as worrying news for the current coalition, who potentially stand to lose their ruling majority if the ten currently elected Free Democrat representatives leave government.

Talking recently to Georgian press members of the Free Democrats party stated that there would be no negotiation between their party and the coalition. “We did not come to speak to (Prime Minister) Ivanishvilli. We said goodbye and no discussion happened.”

News of the latest resignations has left Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvilli facing a growing rift in his coalition that has the potential to threaten his rule. Concerns have been raised across Georgia that recent developments will leave Margvelashvilli unable to answer difficult questions over his government’s position if further individuals leave the current coalition.

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