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Founder of Georgia’s Ruling Party, Tycoon Ivanishvili Returns to Politics

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, April 27
Billionaire and former Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is returning to politics to Chair the Georgian Dream (GD) ruling party, founded by him in 2012.

The decision became known after the GD meeting on April 25, which was attended by Ivanishvili too.

The photos depicting Ivanishvili, sitting between the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze, were released by the Georgian Dream.

After the GD meeting, PM Kvirikashvili held a special press-conference, saying the party offered Ivanishvili to return and he agreed.

“On my behalf as well as on behalf of the whole team, I offered and asked him as the founder of the party to take up the mantle and I am happy that he has agreed,” Kvirikashvili said, adding Ivanishvili’s return will strengthen the team and create additional motivation for its members.

The PM added that in the near future the GD will hold a congress, which will elect Ivanishvili as the Chair of the party.

“I am sure that the Georgian Dream delegates will unanimously elect Bidzina Ivanishvili as the new chairman of the party,” he added.

Georgian opposition parties believe that the return of the tycoon will not improve the current tension between the GD members.

Former parliament Speaker and the leader of the Movement for Construction Davit Usupashvili stated that the main question is whether Bidzina Ivanishvili will be able to understand his mistakes and form a healthy political team.

“It is a political collapse of the GD and Ivanishvili's second attempt to unite the political team to rule the country. Bidzina Ivanishvili promised to return to politics in case of a crisis in the country and it seems he has correctly evaluated the current situation - it is clear that the Georgian Dream brought the country into a crisis,” he stressed.

Parliamentary minority, European Georgia has the same position. One of the leaders of the party, Giga Bokeria says it is obvious the country is in crises.

“The real ruler of the Georgian Dream was forced to come out of the shadow, which indicates that there is crisis both in the Georgian Dream and in the whole country. But this story will not help the country. The only thing that can save the country is removal of this whole team, including Ivanishvili and Kvirikashvili, through elections," he added.

Ex-president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, whose United National Movement (UNM) was defeated by Ivanishvili’s GD in October 2012 parliamentary elections, commented on Ivanishvili’s announced return, saying he will not be able to rule the country any more.

“Ivanishvili is mercilessly robbing the people through his banks. We will put end to Ivanishvili's government and the people's hardship this year, "Saakashvili wrote on his Facebook page.

Ivanishvili became the Prime Minister of Georgia on 25 October 2012 but on November 17, 2013, he quit politics. He stated in 2015 that he would only return to politics if there were “a terrible disaster” in the country.