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Large crowds show up in Mtskheta in support of Ivanishvili

By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, July 3
Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of Georgian Dream political coalition, held his fourth election campaign in Mtskheta on July 1. While addressing the poverty people are facing in the mountainous regions, Ivanishvili promised his team would overcome this challenge. “Let’s give each other our word that we will fight for our country's rights, families, and future together,” he told his supporters.

He said he seldom gives promises because he knows the value of his word, but he stated before that IDPs would return to their homes and that they would be provided all the conditions in order to live in a normal way without the state's “charity.”

Discouraging President Mikheil Saakashvili’s unanimous decision-making in every region, city and village, Ivanishvili said that the Georgian Dream would establish self-governments where the citizens would plan their local budget and define its uses on their own.

He said the law on high mountainous regions would help restore Georgian villages and save the historic regions from possible emptiness. “A strong village is the basis for a strong country,” he said, adding that a special fund would [be created] to assist the farmers in the development their products– not only for the local market, but also for export. Praising the uniqueness of Georgian nature, he suggested the promotion of traditional handicraft and the development of regional tourism.

Ivanishvili said most people cannot afford elementary healthcare services because of high prices on medicines which are usually useless due to their low-quality. Stressing that free healthcare is the Georgian Dream’s main motto; Ivanishvili said they have worked out a project with all the costs and benefits so that every citizen would have healthcare insurance with a wider range of services than offered by the current government.

Discouraging political pressure put on public servants, Ivanishvili promised that after the Georgian Dream’s success at the parliamentary elections, employment and the dismissal of public servants would only be based on their professionalism and loyalty to their work, and promised the protection of free political choice.

He said even the policemen who now follow the illegal orders of the government would regain their respect, as it was during the start of the police reform. “I believe that the absolute majority of policemen are worthy people who have saved others by risking their own lives,” Ivanishvili said, stressing he will restore the 200 policemen who were dismissed for their lack of trustworthiness by the current leadership.

Promising to release the general prosecutor’s office and the court from “political orders,” Ivanishvili said his team would create a fair state where the main value would be the people. He said they would also decrease communal expenses and increase pensions.

Ivanishvili said they won’t begin street rallies even though the government does its best to irritate people with their illegal accusations against him. “Whatever the government plans, we will win… and fulfill our Georgian dream,” he said. Ivanishvili addressed over 23, 000 supporters who gathered in Mtskheta.

Ivanishvili said although President Saakashvli thinks that people support him for his money, the Georgian Dream considers people’s trust as his main capital. He said he cannot bring the miracle he promised into fruition by simply adjusting his political steps only according to people’s interests. “Freedom cannot exist in disorder and chaos,” he said, stressing that the Georgian Dream would establish freedom through fairness.

At the end of his speech Ivanishvili named Irakli Tripolski as the Georgian Dream’s majoritarian candidate in Dusheti, Zakaria Kutsnashvili in Tianeti, Dimitri Khundadze in Mtskheta and Ilia Tsiklauri in Kazbegi. He said these people have the pure past, honesty and talent which are important qualities for a majoritarian. Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia Chairwoman, Manana Kobakhidze, said the candidates were chosen after long consultations in order to ensure their impartiality and professionalism.

Ivanishvili’s political coalition will hold its fifth large-scale rally in Gori on July 15, where the names of majoritarian candidates for Shida Kartli will be revealed.

Analyst Vasil Chkoidze didn’t find anything new in Ivanishvili’s speech that would make it different from the previous rallies. Doubting in the success of the Georgian Dream, majoritarian candidates supposed that Ivanishvili doesn’t fully trust the other parties united under the umbrella of the Georgian Dream political coalition because he mainly names sportsmen and doctors from his own political party.