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Should businesspeople go into politics?

Monday, April 14

“Yes, they should. Generally speaking, people go into politics to get money and power. But businessmen already have all they need.”
Mariami, economist, 27

“If I were businessman, I wouldn’t go into politics because the whole thing is dirty. But under these circumstances I think they should, because Georgian politics needs people who won’t be greedy and hungry.”
Merabi, baker, 55

“They must not. Didn’t you see what happened to [late billionaire Badri] Patarkatsishvili?!”
Lali, secretary, 37

“If I were a businessman I wouldn’t go into politics, because it would spoil my reputation. If someone has a big business and lots of money they don’t need to enter politics—they can help people in other ways.”
Beka, basketball player, 21

“Well, it depends on the person in question. I like [ruling party] majoritarian candidate Rusudan Kervalishvili [co-owner of the Center Point development company] very much, she’s a very nice woman and I’m sure she’ll do everything she can for Samgori district, where I live. But I’m sure that if a businessman is honorable, he’ll help his people without needing a seat in parliament. The perfect example is [billionaire business tycoon] Bidzina Ivanishvili who helps the people of his village without asking anything in return.”
Maiko, housewife, 45

“In my opinion, all the businessmen now in politics or about to step into it are forced to by the authorities. A wise man, especially a millionaire, would never go into politics.”
Keti, student, 20

“We’ve seen it, and it didn’t work. They’re all motivated by business, and politics is a different sphere.”
Baia, doctor, 39

“I don’t think it’s a good idea. Everybody should do their own job. Politicians aren’t any good in business, and most Georgian businessmen who go into politics cover up their business dealings. Businessmen should stick to business.”
Keti, economist, 27

“I don’t understand why they would want to enter politics. The only rationale I see is that they’re trying to protect their businesses. If they really want to do something good for their people, staying in business is the best way to help.”
Marina, teacher, 51