Ivanishvili in the public sector
By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, January 29Bidzina Ivanishvili fulfilled his promise and founded an NGO called Mokalake (The Citizen).
Analysts and other NGOs offer controversial evaluations of Ivanishvili’s appearance in this role. The governing officials who were part of Ivanishvili’s former political team expect him to be successful in his latest endeavor. His opponents, however, are skeptical.
Mokalake was created to fulfill different tasks. It aims to look after the development of the country’s independence, encourage a responsible media, facilitate human rights protection, and support the rule of law in the country. It will also elaborate a concept for the restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity, accumulate innovative and progressive ideas and initiatives, analyze the challenges the country faces to find out the ways for overcoming those challenges and will finally introduce its conclusions, recommendations and opinions to the Georgian people and the international community.
The appearance of a billionaire in the NGO sector after he led the country’s government is not an ordinary case. Current Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili is confident that Ivanishvili will be successful in the public sector, which will eventually be profitable for the country.
However, there are some analysts aside from opposition members, either within the parliament or outside, who believe there is no sense in having much optimism in this direction and that conclusions should be made only after some steps are taken.
Some think that Ivanishvili will try to modify the existing model of the NGO sector, in an attempt to improve it. However, this could trigger a dual reaction.
On the one hand, some existing NGOs who have achieved stability in sourcing the donor organizations and who have already found their niche’ could see their existence threatened by the new activities of Ivanishvili.
On the other hand, some NGOs could try and find shelter under Ivanishvili’s vast financial umbrella. They will in essence, become satellite entities financed by Ivanishvili and thus secure their activities to comply with the standards of Ivanishvili’s public sector. Kind of like a non-government government organizations – NG(g)O
There is an additional issue; the possibility that Ivanishvili’s NGO will embrace a critical attitude towards the government. First of all, the current Georgian government was created by Ivanishvili himself. Its leaders, as well as the cabinet of ministers were selected by him beginning with PM Garibashvili right down to the parliamentary majority membership and other officials. So, criticizing them will mean criticizing himself in a way.
At the same time, the criticism from Ivanishvili’s NGO will not just be an alternative opinion of an ordinary NGO, but rather it would be followed, considered and even obeyed by the government. This situation could create a serious threat, as Ivanishvili would thus be trying to navigate the country by the official government, but according to his recommendations and opinions. This would eventually create an awkward situation in the country.
Of course, these are all just hypotheses. Knowing Ivanishvili’s unordinary steps and approaches, it could be expected that he will introduce different types of know-how approaches and visions. Everybody remembers how he managed to enter the political arena, fulfill his promises to win the election, establish a new governing body and then resign. He also promised to be in the public sector for around 20 years.
Let us see.