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Ivanishvili Blacklists Most Prominent Opposition Parties

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, October 13
It has recently become clear with whom Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanisvili, who has recently declared his entrance into politics, plans to collaborate.

The tradition of not naming those parties who a candidate wants to work and deal with has also been broken by Ivanishvili who announced the names of those opposition parties with whom he will not collaborate and also explained the reason of his decision. "I will not collaborate with: the Christian - Democratic Movement, the Labour Party, the New Rights, the National-Democratic Movement, the Georgian Party and with those parties created by Gia Tortladze and Paata Davitaia," Ivanishvili stated. Beginning with the leader of the Christian - Democratic Movement, Giorgi Targamadze, Ivanishvili said "there are many doubts about his activities" including incidents of treason in which the ruling authorities assisted him in creating his movement and come into parliament through deceit and falsification of the elections. The billionaire further openly stated that " the leaders of those parties - Shalva Natelashvili, Davit Gamkrelidze, Erosi Kintsmarishvili and Bachuki Kardava – fulfill the authorities orders."

As for those with whom he will collaborate just two parties have been named: Our Georgia-Free Democrats and the Republican Party.

However, Ivanishvili also outlined that collaboration with some concrete members of the rejected parties is not excluded and named Sozar Subari, one of the leaders of the Georgian Party and former Ombudsman of Georgia as an example. "It is regrettable for me that Subari, who was a good public defender and always had a fixed position regarding the authorities, found himself in an inappropriate place. In case he decides to come over to my political organizations, I welcome this."

The stir the statement caused was expected and quite typical for Georgian politics. Those who found themselves on the "white list" have already agreed on collaboration. Those on the "black list" criticized the billionaire and expressed regret "that Ivanishvili did not satisfy public expectation." There were also those who did not find themselves either on the white or black lists but whose statements were more positive than negative.

"I expressed my position about Ivanishvili a few days ago. He has done a lot of good things for our country and our citizens. As for the offer of cooperation, I think a meeting will be held between us, where we will discuss forms of cooperation’, the leader of the Free Democrats, Irakli Alasania, said. Readiness for collaboration was also confirmed by the Republican Party. In its statement, the party welcomed Ivanishvili's arrival in the political arena and mentioned that "despite some differences on certain issues, our political visions coincide."

Those parties blacklisted by Ivanishvili accused the billionaire of "dirty methods," "ambiguity," "inadequate assessments" and of causing "public disappointment."

"I want to express my regret over the fact that the huge expectations brought by Bidzina Ivanishvili’s entry into Georgian politics was so quickly and shamefully evaporated’, Targamadze said, adding that there was an expectation in society that a person would come to Georgian politics who would play the role of a consolidator in the fight against the government, however Ivanishvili chose to establish himself in politics with dirty methods. The views of Targamadze and Davit Gamkrelidze, the leader of the New Rights practically coincided, "instead of consolidating opposition forces, he brought an absolutely different change. This is the syndrome of a closed person, as he did not realize what the real demand of Georgian society is."

There was further irritation amongst the rest of the opposition. ‘We are ready to discuss on a live talk-show who has been strengthening the government and who had been fighting against it" Giorgi Gugava, from the Labourists, said. The National-Democratic Movement would have been the greatest obstacle for Ivanishvili on the political field according to Bachuki Kardava , leader of the National - Democratic Party, said. According to Kardava, the issue of cooperation with Bidzina Ivanishvili could not have been put on the agenda for the National-Democratic Party, because the party leaders had questions regarding the businessman’s first statement. "In general, drawing a line of demarcation between political groups, social groups and the media is a very big mistake."

Parliamentary opposition MP, Gia Tortladze, also claimed that "he did not intend any collaboration with Ivanishvili" and explaining "I am not a businessman and he is not a politician." He says he had two questions for Ivanishvili from the beginning: "I am interested in his view : is Georgia occupied by the Russians or not? And should Georgia go for NATO or not?"

Paata Davitaia, leader of the European Democrats party said he did not participate in the "casting" for collaborators; as he explained the desire for cooperation with somebody is axiomatic and not politics.

The statement by Ivanishvili was not a surprise for analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze. He says that Ivanishvili chose those parties who agree on civilized methods of political activities, however, currently those parties " fighting capacity and productivity" is quite low.