PM Kvirikashvili - in the Right Place at the Right Time


It was a real master-class in doing a media briefing. Last weekend, only one hundred days into the premiership, the new head of the National Administration, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, tried his absolute best to create totally new chemistry between the Georgian government and the realm of mass communication in the country, and he managed to look and sound agreeable and truthful on top of everything.

There was something unusually humane and civilized to the entire event, never seen before by our political-wisdom-hungry public. The guy was relaxed and liberated, open and sincere, easy to communicate with and a hard nut to crack at the same time. He even seemed happy, this head of government of a country torn apart with myriad chilling tribulations.

The media – both hawks and doves – on their part, wanted to be as fair, wise and impartial as they possibly could. In a word, there was an uncanny flash of westernization in the air to say the least. No exaggeration! It seemed like we had changed overnight. Literally! I certainly do not mean that PM Kvirikashvili came around and all was changed to the better in Georgia by one momentary wave of a magic wand which he brought with him to operate with. He is certainly trying his best but nobody can change Georgia – or any other country, for that matter – so rapidly. I am only saying that manners matter today, especially on the level of ambassadorial, ministerial and summit endeavors.

The current prime minister’s recent solo encounter with media impressed as being done at ease, in a manner affordably business-like and undoubtedly different from any other press-conference ever completed in this country by any other Georgian leader. He looked so natural and he sounded so intelligent that the Georgian journalists, used to nervous and harsh respondents, found themselves at an enjoyable loss, and they had no desire at all to change the tone of the meeting. Giorgi made everybody feel at home. Suffice to say that he responded to each and every one by their first names and did so with very welcome warmth. He must have seen many press-conferences of the sort in America.

There are difficult journalistic questions in the world that seem to be unanswered skillfully, even by the cleverest politicians. The same is true here in Georgia, but the feeling was that nobody wanted to destroy the spontaneously created balance of mutual understanding between the media and the government, longed for, for years.

The PM’s English is impeccable, mastered in the United States, and his erudition is so vast it could make money on television quiz shows. Civility merely exudes from within his overt personality, and his benevolence will overpower miles of human bellicosity. No oriental cunning in words and tonality! A lot of western type naiveté and naturalness in the face! Watching the press-conference, I also felt that the job he’s got to be doing right now is not in the least one of his wildest dreams, and he can cede it with no sweat if circumstances compel him to do so, although, a workaholic by nature, he would make better out of every second he spends at work. His multi-scion family surely certifies that he and the lady of his house have done their due to the motherland’s meager demography.

I strongly suspect that, as solid and balanced as his personality seems to be, Giorgi Kvirikashvili must be a valuable asset to his beloved Georgia. This is at least my latest and firmest impression of him, although I was not totally sure of his newly-noticed strengths when he was sitting in the chair of number two recently. Now the question is if he will ever be able to make good use of all those strong points – including his perfectly fit age, his meaningful modern education and his rich work experience – to the best advantage of this nation and to the fullest extent possible. I hope so!

Let me put it frankly that I am not completely sure the economic, political, social, cultural and ideological landscape beheld in today’s Georgia will ever allow this good and talented man to carry on with his current duties as we all might be wishing for Georgia to witness. But I am not giving up on my optimistic stand concerning Georgia’s future. I simply sense and know that there are generations coming up that want to be thinking and behaving in a very different manner – different from those who had in many previous years vehemently clutched the helm of the nation, having no ample skill or style to steer the country to where the rest of the civilized world is.

This Prime Minister, as it had seemed to me at that notion-pregnant media event, clearly represents that particular species of Georgian leaders who know what they want and are fully aware of what they are doing. Just have a brief look at his meeting the other day with the crowd of protesting Tbilisi State University students – it is truly important to have the right sense of being in the right place at the right time, and to look and sound right while there.

Isn’t it time for all of us here in Georgia to know exactly who we want to see presiding over the affairs of our still failing but potentially succeeding state?

Nugzar B. Ruhadze

21 April 2016 21:08