Georgian Billionaire Plans Political Party


(Civil.Ge) — Georgian billionaire and philanthropist, Bidzina Ivanishvili, said in a one-sentence written statement, released through his charitable organization on October 5, that he had “decided to establish a political party to run in the 2012 parliamentary elections.”

A spokesperson of the charitable organization run by Ivanishvili told InterPressNews agency, that the tycoon would release a more detailed written statement laying out his plans on October 7. She, however, declined to respond a question when Ivanishvili personally would appear publicly before the press.

Rarely, but when he wants to convey his opinion to the public, famously publicity-shy billionaire, does so via written statements released by Kartu Group, an organization overseeing his charitable activities (Kartu Bank is also part of the group).

One of his recent statements, released in May, 2011, gave a rare glimpse into his views about the Georgian politics, saying that “balance of political power” in Georgia consists of a ruling party, opposition and “pseudo-opposition.”

“There is a stable balance in relationship between them and the existing situation is presumably a precondition for the governing team to stay in power. The present authorities feel quite comfortable in this situation and things are going quite well [for the governing party]: it balances the situation, controls businesses; with its manipulations it [the governing party] excellently rules the pseudo-opposition – both parliamentary and non-parliamentary… The real opposition movement finds it very difficult to resist adequately. So, ahead of the upcoming elections, Saakashvili’s positions are quite firm,” Ivanishvili said in the May, 2011 statement.

Ivanishvili, well-known in Georgia for his generous charitable activities and whose fortune is estimated by the Forbes at USD 5.5 billion, made money in Russia, but returned back to Georgia about ten years ago and settled in his home village of Chorvila in Imereti region.


Civil Georgia is a daily news online service devoted to delivering quality news and analysis about Georgia. Civil.Ge is run by The UN Association of Georgia, a Georgian non-governmental organization, in frames of ‘National Integration and Tolerance in Georgia’ Program financed by USAID. Civil Georgia is also supported by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

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