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Ivanishvili’s wife to set up political party

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, January 12
Ekaterine Khvedelidze, wife of Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, announced on January 11 that she is ready to set up a political party and actively participate in political activity in the country.

It seems however that the issue will not be as “easy” as it appears at first glance. Despite the fact that Khvedelidze, unlike Ivanishvili, had her Georgian citizenship formally restored, the status will not come in to effect until the term of appeal expires.

“It is possible in exceptional circumstances for a person to appeal to the court which made the decision on his/her case to speed up the fulfilment of the verdict, before it would otherwise come in to force according to the normal legal term,” said Kvedelidze’s lawyer Archil Kbilashvili.

Based on the law, the opposite side has a right to appeal the decision to the appellate court and then in the event that such a situation develops, the case could be drawn out for the good part of a year. If that were to happen then Kvedelidze’s political party would not be able to take part in the 2012 parliamentary elections after all.

According to the lawyers, Kvedelidze appealed to the judge on January 5 and is waiting to hear their response in the next two weeks.

As for Ivanishvili’s case, lawyer Zakaria Kutsnashvili mentioned that the President has 44 days left to respond to Ivanishvili’s appeal, which would be the natural way for him to get citizenship.

The majority representative Nugzar Tsiklauri stated that: “The people gathering around the businessman are only uniting on the basis of the possibility of financing. Nevertheless Georgian society should remain focused on the political forces which actually have a solid political platform in regards to internal and external policy”.

The President’s statement made on January 11 seemed to a reference to Ivanishvili. According to his speech, “vampires, mummies and other monsters of the political past will never return to Georgian politics and people with Russian money will never be able to harm Georgia”.

As analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze told The Messenger, such a statement from Kvedelidze should come as no surprise for either Ivanishvili’s supporters or for those in government. …” Sakvarelidze mentioned that the development is not a sign that all hope that Ivanishvili will get Georgian citizenship is lost. “They are trying to win time through such action. If Ivanishvili gets citizenship, according to inner party rules, he will be able to head a party or be first in the party list.” The analyst underlined that if the process of the party’s formation is prolonged it will negatively affect Ivanishvili’s plans, as there will be less time for proper action or the establishment of different bodies inside the party.

As for the Government’s actions, Sakvarelidze stated that the more Ivanishvili is attacked, the less profitable it will be for the authorities as support for Ivanishvili grows as a result of such action. “Support for Ivanishvili is increasing partly because of the unfair actions committed by the authorities, and solidarity towards him will increase further still if people see any more unfair treatment of him. The Government however can’t control itself and does not appear to be at all afraid of the outcome of its actions. Any sensible government though would try not to rouse protest in its people at such a sensitive time as during a pre-election period.”