Ivanishvili hiding family of August war veteran
Tuesday, April 24
“In two or three weeks we will manage to really protect everyone from one man’s violent ideology,” Georgian Dream leader Bidzina Ivanishvili said yesterday, referring to President Mikheil Saakashvili. Ivanishvili spoke of the case of Darejan Patashuri, the mother of Giorgi Tatuashvili, who died during the Georgian-Russian war in 2008.
Having declared her support for Georgian Dream on March 11, Patashuri accused the Georgian government of oppressing her family for political reasons. She says that representatives from the Ministry of Defense spoke to her 14-year-old son in a manner she identified as a message for her “to be quiet and act properly.”
Ivanishvili’s press service released video footage of people in civilian clothes refusing to answer a journalist’s question about why they had spent four days in front of the building where Patashuri and her family were hiding.
Ivanishvili explained why he did not initially help the families of fallen soldiers after the August war, but promised he would protect them from further oppression. “I tried not to engage in issues where the state was engaged and supported,” he said, stressing he preferred doing everything from the shadows. “But such things couldn’t have been done quietly,” he affirmed, remarking that the whole world is standing on their feet to support these families.
Stating that he has been hiding Patashuri and her family from possible danger, Ivanishvili encouraged all of Georgia to protect different opinions. As Ivanishvili said, his whole family and even the entire population, should become active in politics if need be.
Maia Panjikidze, Georgian Dream press speaker, also spoke, maintaining that if constitutional changes are enacted that allowed citizens of European Union countries to participate in Georgian elections, Ivanishvili would exercise this right.
However, if the government does adopt this amendment, Panjikidze said that Ivanishvili's name will not appear on the ballot. “But in two weeks time, when Georgian Dream comes to power, he will have a restored Georgian citizenship and carry out all the legal activities,” she asserted, adding that Georgian Dream is already opening offices across the country, “as the rudimentary structure of the future government”.