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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Thursday, January 26
Ivanishvili vows to protect supporters from political repression

Georgian online media outlet,, reports that billionaire political leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili, claims it would be possible “to more effectively protect each of our supporters from political repression” after the establishment of his political coalition within relevant party structures.

“Meanwhile, we request everyone for whom achieving success peacefully through elections is important to show calm, maximum restraint, and not to yield to possible provocations,” reads a statement released by Ivanishvili’s press office on January 24.

On Sunday, Maestro TV's Report of the Week gave an account of approximately a dozen Sachkhere residents, including a 17-year-old boy, who were beaten and verbally insulted after chanting pro-Ivanishvili slogans at an outdoor concert on January 13. The Sachkhere district, in western Georgian, is Ivanishvili's native region.

Ivanishvili’s statement condemned “with indignation” the incident, responding to rumors that the attackers were Ministry of Internal Affairs employees by calling on law enforcement officers “to respect their professional duties and not to follow illegal orders.”

“Time will come soon when everyone will be held responsible, not before any political force, but before the law; not before any political leader, but before a free court. Do not believe in deliberately spread rumors as if you will be a target of political repressions after the change of government. On the contrary, we intend to change the government through elections in order to set you free from political pressure,” the statement concluded.

Darchiashvili responds to foreign policy critics

Kviris Palitra has published an interview with member of the ruling United National Movement party, Davit Darchiashvili, in which he speaks on Georgian-American relations and comments made by opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili.

He commented on the speculation that Georgia would become involved in any American or Western action against Iran, saying that such a confrontation is unlikely. Darchiashvili also noted that not all remarks made by domestic politicians in ally states should be taken seriously.

He also criticized Ivanishvili's recent comments on foreign policy, saying, "Personally for me, Ivanishvili is absolutely inadequate for the future of Georgia," citing his opponent's views on Putin and NATO integration. The billionaire-turned-political leader has said that Georgia should pursue improved relations with Russia even if Putin returns to power, and has expressed pessimism about Georgia's ability to gain entry into NATO.