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Ivanishvili denies pressure on opposition

By Diana Tasueva
Monday, June 16
The founder of the Georgian Dream coalition Bidzina Ivanishvili voted in the local elections on June 15. He does not accept the accusations that the GD put pressure on political candidates from the UNM. He also stressed that the elections will not cause any real changes in the country’s ruling team.

“I cannot agree that the withdrawal of 80 candidates from the United National Movement was related to the coalition,” Ivanishvili said, noting that the TV stations and the NGOs are trying to mislead people when they speak about pressure and pursuit on a political basis.

The former PM mentioned former Mayor Gigi Ugulava and stated that he (Ugulava) would have prevented such facts, if they really took place.

Responding to the statement Ugulava said that he could not understand the meaning of what Ivanishvili said.

Ivanishvili also claimed that the Georgian Dream coalition is forming a real and not fake democracy in the country, unlike the previous government.

“I know that people are more concerned over unemployment. However, it is not a swift process, creating jobs requires time,” Ivanishvili said.

Ivanishvili stressed that the coalition staff lacks discipline. He suggested that the Marneuli case, when the UNM candidate was removed from the candidates’ list, caused certain doubts in him.

“I am satisfied that the court improved the shortcoming and the candidate was enabled to take part in the elections,” Ivanishvili stated.

The former PM emphasized that every government can make mistakes. However, the mistakes should not be fatal. He stated that the course taken by the coalition is right and, according to him, the course will be supported by the public again.

Several NGOs and the United National Movement have speculated lately that opposition candidates removed their names from the lists to exorcize pressure on them. The coalition denies the accusations.