Kakhaber Kemoklidze announces resignation, following Gakharia departure

By | Rachel Brooks

February 24, 2021 

Image credit: former Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia pictured with former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. 

“File:200214-D-AP390-4099 (49673459787).jpg” by U.S. Secretary of Defense is licensed under CC BY 2.0

As the political crisis spirals on in Georgia, the head of the GoG Kakhaber Kemoklidze announced his resignation. This came within the same week as former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia likewise announced his resignation.

Kemoklidze posted a resignation statement via his Facebook, which proceeds in English as follows: 

It is exactly after a decade of active, dynamic, and challenging service, the time has come for me to bid farewell to you as a civil servant and a former intelligence officer. I have always thought about what to say in the event where this day would come. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to those bright minds and patriotic professionals, the men, and women, worthy civil servants, and officers, who tirelessly serve day and night in defending the state interests, neutralizing internal and external foes&threats and trying to bring peace to our country. It is in this spirit of loyalty that many of them work without expecting any recognition or special appreciation in return. 

Despite facing many frustrations (which is always organic in this field), they did not lose enthusiasm and give up in light of fatigue and difficulties of life, instead, they tolerated undeserved media or internal structural criticism (sometimes politically-motivated), with dignity and continued to do their jobs with the same dedication and passion.

It is with this in mind that I would like to thank the people whose professional (sometimes life-threatening) selflessness comes at the expense of what everyone cherishes: the time and presence with family, friends, children, and loved ones. They have always tried to learn from the mistakes of others and of one’s own in order to make sure that the state and its institutions would not get caught in a vicious circle and avoid obstacles that would damage its progress! Special thanks to the individuals, with whom I share the idea of “freedom from fear”; those who have instilled in me the belief that in this field (as well as in life) two things are the most important: Honour and Devotion to the State Interests!

I want to be honest – throughout the past 10 years, I had (probably the rarest) an honor to work with special people and leaders (under both the previous and current governments). I believe that those 10 years have been also valuable because a generation of young professionals and sincere patriots have grown in front of me and the future will become solid pillars for the country!

I would like to offer the former Prime Minister გახარია (Giorgi Gakharia )special thanks as well. I would not hide that at the beginning I was even looking at him with a suspicion (due to my professional habits and instincts. Thanks, to Gakharia for being a selfless (often physically inexplicable) hard worker, a remarkably quick thinker, a bearer of the right state values, and an exemplary manager for many. He was a leader imbued with a belief in a meritocracy; the enemy of nepotism, cronyism, unnecessary bureaucracy, and a modern manager who stands up for accountability and can take responsibility. I am very grateful to him, for enabling me to be a safeguard of state interests and to serve my country.

In conclusion, I would like to sincerely wish success to the new Prime Minister. Although differences in terms of political views, religious beliefs, ethnicity, worldviews, and so on, consolidating and uniting society is what Georgia needs as many challenges to lie ahead. The strength of this country is only in Unity!

I say goodbye to you temporarily, we will meet again!

This comes a week after Giorgi Gakharia likewise announced his resignation via Twitter:

I believe that confrontation and rivalry within the country endanger the future of Georgia‘s democratic & economic development. Therefore, I have announced my resignation in the hope to reduce polarization & deescalate the situation,” wrote Gakharia on February 18. 

This week in Georgian political crisis, Nika Melia (pictured below) was arrested, and former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia resigned, following the continued increase in tensions caused by Georgia’s political upheaval and move toward a worrying unipartisan control in the government. The west questions the future of Georgia’s democracy, as more members of the government resign. 

Kemoklidze’s resignation comes a day after the arrest of major opposition leader Nika Melia, who was seized by the government  in a raid of his party’s HQ after failing to pay an increased bond.

As the news of Kemoklidze’s resignation circulated, western distress at the political unravelling in Georgia grew. Some likewise offered votes of confidence in Georgia’s future amid the rocky upheaval. Luke Coffey, a U.S.foreign policy and geopolitics expert, expressed hopes in Kemoklidze’s future, recalling how he became personally acquainted with him as their professional paths crossed.

“I first met @KakhaKemoklidze two years ago when we traveled together to Pankisi. He is a man of utmost professionalism and integrity. A true Georgian patriot committed to his country’s journey into the transatlantic community. He has a bright future ahead of him. Good luck!” tweeted Coffey on the afternoon of February 24. 

The world continues to watch with growing concern as Georgia’s political crisis unfolds.