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The News in Brief

Tuesday, September 20
The problem with the Republicans is that there is a big difference between their demands and abilities – Ivanishvili

“I would bless the Republicans in response to their curses and I would wish them to bring their demands closer to their abilities without using me,” former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said at a meeting with the regional media.

According to him, the problem with the Republican Party is that there is “a big difference between their demands and abilities”.

"A miracle is needed to bring their demands and abilities close to each other and they are asking this miracle from me. They are asking recognition for the fact that I promised to make the Republican Party the leading party in the coalition and appoint Davit Usupashvili as Prime Minister,” said Ivanishvili.

Burchuladze hits back at Ivanishvili, calls him a ‘liar’

Paata Burchuladze, an operatic bass who leads a four-party election bloc called State for People, has slammed billionaire ex-PM and founder of ruling GDDG party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, as a “liar” and accused him of trying to damage his reputation with a slander campaign.

“We are under surveillance, we are eavesdropped, and businessmen who support our party are under pressure,” Burchuladze said at a press conference on September 19.

“It is immoral when one infringes on privacy…and disseminates rumors to damage my reputation,” Burchuladze said, referring to leaked wiretapped audio recording of his phone conversation with head of the Tbilisi-based private broadcaster Rustavi 2 TV, Nika Gvaramia.

On September 12, Ivanishvili said that a few years ago when he asked Burchuladze to support the Georgian Dream coalition, the operatic bass asked him for “a lot of money” in exchange, but he refused to pay. In separate remarks earlier this month, Ivanishvili described Burchuladze as being “ruled” by the United National Movement (UNM) and his party as a “typical UNM project.”

“Georgia is governed not by the government, but by informal an ruler, who can tell lies publicly. I have done nothing but good for my country… and no one has the right to insult me completely groundlessly and irresponsibly and to try to mislead my electorate and the entire public; by doing so Bidzina Ivanishvili has exposed himself,” Burchuladze said.

“He is a liar and I demand a public apology from him for those multiple defamatory allegations voiced by him recently. He alleged that I asked for a lot of money in exchange for my support – that is utterly false,” he said.

“We are dealing with a person who is capable of blatantly deceiving people and this man is now appointing and sacking ministers and prime ministers. The situation is alarming,” Burchuladze said.

At the same press conference, one of the leaders of the State for People, Davit Jandieri, accused the State Audit Office, which is also in charge of monitoring political parties’ finances, of trying to scare off potential donors from funding the State for People election bloc. He said that four of the party’s donors have been fined with up to GEL 10,000 each after Tbilisi City Court ruled positively on the State Audit Office’s motion, which claimed that donations made by these four donors were illegal.

The State for People party was the second largest recipient of donationsin the first eight months of this year, raising GEL up to GEL 2.29 million. New Political Center (NPC)–Girchi (pine cone) and New Georgia, which are part of Burchuladze’s election bloc since mid-August raised GEL 601,000 and GEL 261,000, respectively, in the same period.

Georgian PM to deliver speech at UN 71st session

Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili will deliver a speech at the UN 71st session on September 21. As reported by Georgia’s governmental administration he will hold a visit in the U.S. on 19-22 September.

The PM will deliver his speech on the topic ‘Frequent Displacement of Refugees and Migrants” during an event organized by Estonia, Georgia, Korean Republic and UNDP on the issue – effective institution and other events.

He will also hold bilateral meetings within the framework of the visit.

He will hold meetings with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, U.S. Deputy Secretary General and other senior officials.

Negotiations will be held with executive director of Millennium Challenge Corporation. Georgia’s PM will attend several official receptions.