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Ivanishvili's Emergent Coalition Takes Shape

By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, December 15
Businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili intends to create a political coalition with Our Georgia – Free Democrats and the Republican Party just after the final formation of his political party. The coalition members together with other political groups will later establish a bloc working on electoral issues. Meanwhile, Irakli Alasania, the leader of Our Georgia – Free Democrats told The Washington Times that President Mikheil Saakashvili should leave Georgian politics after the expiry of his second presidential term. Supposing that such a step would be better for his political career and Georgia’s future, Alasania accused Saakashvili of changing the state constitution to his own will so that he could come back as a Prime Minister.

Ivanishvili’s team continues consultations with political and public figures about the joint political activities. The Conservative Party and People’s Party will also participate in the processes. “The initial agreement about cooperation has been achieved with Ivanishvili’s team, but the particular functions will be discussed during further consultations,” Koba Davitashvili, leader of the People’s Party said on Wednesday. Expressing his respect towards the proposal from his colleagues about cooperation, Davitashvili explained that the issues of creating an electoral bloc can only be started after the appointment of elections.

The leader of the Conservative Party, Zviad Dzidziguri, will also be fully engaged in political activities with Ivanishvili’s team. Talking of the public demand to establish “an alternative governmental power” Dzidziguri did not find it important who would be the founders of the electoral bloc legally. “We would be the members of the alternative power with our entire partial list,” he emphasized. The Conservative Party as well as the People’s Party plans to actively participate in political processes with their regional staff all over the country.

The ruling United National Movement (UNM) members didn’t find anything new in the information about the establishment of a new coalition with Ivanishvili. For MP Vakhtang Balavadze it didn’t have a particular meaning whether Ivanishvili, Alasania and Usupashvili would have legally proved their unity or not. Supposing that the two oppositional leaders had simply tried to “lustrate themselves” Balavadze said none of the coalition members had a particular political ranking in the past.

Christian-Democrat Levan Vepkhvadze recollected how parties were united around Mikheil Saakashvili in 2003 while now this locomotive is Bidzina Ivanishvili. “History seems to be repeating,” he said pointing to the low ratings of the parties around the businessman. Supposing that they would hardly overcome the electoral level without Ivanishvili, Vepkhvadze wondered why the businessmen needed parties with 0%.

Leader of Whites Party, oppositionist Temur Shashiashvili, spoke of people’s hope towards Ivanishvili’s public movement Georgian Dream and how this troubled the government. Accusing the government of acting in a menacing way, Shashiashvili encouraged people not to play the government’s game. “The country today has dangerous politicians. Those, who are being ruled from outside the country have greater ambitions, but no responsibility,” he said emphasizing how well pro-government politicians live nowadays. Encouraging society to think about the country, the oppositionist spoke of Ivanishvili as a respectful person who would succeed in uniting people.