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Ivanishvili Overture

By Ernest Petrosyan
Thursday, October 13
The controversy over Bidzina Ivanishvili's political participation has increased after he published his recent 17-page political statement which talked about his background and his achievements, and addressed a significant part of the statement to interior minister Vano Merabishvili. At the same time the billionaire's statement frustrated the ruling party, puzzled political analysts, criticized the media, and divided the opposition spectrum into friends and foes.

“As I have decided to go into politics, I will definitely come to power. I always keep my promises. I always keep my word and commitments. I have promised to the Georgian people that I will come to power that means that I will definitely do that,” Ivanishvili said.

Ivanishvili openly named and criticized certain persons among the ruling party, naming David Darchiashvili, Nugzar Tsiklauri, Akaki Minashvili, Khatuna Ochiauri, Zurab Melikishvili, Pavle Kublashvili as leaders of the government’s ideology, accusing them of wrongly choosing to remain in Saakashvili’s government.

“In most cases their ideology transforms into a pure demagogy, which is absolutely unacceptable for me, however, it is their choice. Initially, many supported Saakashvili, some of them however, critically considered their position in Saakashvili’s team and left, some however stayed”, said Ivanishvili.

“I understand the position of these people. Some may want to leave the government as well nonetheless it is not an easy issue to make a decision about. They are hostages of a previous wrong decision. Though if they change their political faith, I do not exclude cooperating with them.”

In a statement full of criticism, he linked the three openly pro-governmental channels Rustavi 2, Public Broadcaster, and Imedi with the government, including the staff of these stations.

Ivanishvili, however, found some favorites among government officials. In his statement Ivanishvili was generous in his praise for Merabishvili calling him a “good manager” with “many positive traits” while suggesting to “advise Saakashvili to resign."

“As a result of hard work Merabishvili created a well-organized system – the Interior Ministry. If we remove the functions which the police and other power-wielding structures have, they can play a very useful role in society”, says Ivanishvili.

Analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze, who is actively involved in talks over Ivanishvili, is skeptical about Ivanishvili-Merabishvili political cooperation. “It is not serious to offer political cooperation vie a statement published in a newspaper.