27.07.2020 (Caucasian Journal) How is the political and economic situation in Georgia seen from a viewpoint of one of the country’s leading professional lawyers?
Today Caucasian Journal is pleased to present the answers given by Zaza BIBILASHVILI, Senior Partner at BGI Legal, Georgia’s leading independent law firm, and founder of the Chavchavadze Center for European Studies and Civic Education.
Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of Caucasian Journal: Dear Zaza, thank you for being with us, and for your attention to Caucasian Journal — we are privileged to have you among our Boardmembers. Let me start with what I consider central. You possess a rare — if not ideal — combination of professional and personal qualities, which make you equal to political challenge of any caliber. Recently you left UNM — the party, which you joined in 2013, and where you held a senior position. You said you would not associate with any other political force or take part in the 2020 elections. I am sure you had important reasons, but what will remain on the plate for the voter, if all the very best professionals would decide to step away?
Zaza BIBILASHVILI: Alex, thank you for inviting me for this interview. The honor is all mine to be on CJ board along with such distinguished group of individuals. Let me start by wishing you andCaucasian Journal all the best. I know there are quite a few new ideas and plans for the immediate future. Look forward to seeing the Journal grow! On to your question:
I joined UNM in 2013. Georgia’s former ruling party had already lost the 2012 parliamentary elections. It was widely demonized, its members were targeted politically and persecuted by all branches of government. Hundreds were jailed or forced to flee Georgia, and thousands were pressured in various ways. Against this background, many struggled to explain my move — in a country where people are quick to switch camps to join the winner, it is rare to see a successful citizen, who had never been part of the government and with no vested interest, to risk it all for no apparent gain.