18 January, 2012

The authorities are inventing new laws and regulations and are getting ready for the coming elections like mortal combat; but the same can’t be said about the opposition – for the time being everything is spinning round Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. We discussed likely course of events with expert Soso Tsiskarishvili:

S.T. – It’s an open secret that the authorities are thunder-struck after Bidzina Ivanishvili’s coming to politics. The team in power has quickly ‘revised’ its policy and if earlier

the Georgian Police used to kick the refugees, now this team is actively supporting  the improving of  President’s image and presents him to public as a model of ‘People’s President’.
Q. – The inhabitants of Georgia are indulged in leading positions of the country according to different ratings but the one published last week gives no ground to be proud. According to the information published by the Human Rights’ Center, Georgia holds the first place in Europe by the number of prisoners, we have even surpassed Russia…

S.T. – We should expect such information because the country to which it pertains has long been holding a position among the three leading ones. I’m sorry for mentioning my homeland in the third person but I can’t accept the part called Georgian prisons as my native country. Today Georgia is a park of leisure and recreation of the ‘National Movement’ where their cynicism reaches boundless and absolutely irresponsible scale. In this connection  they are spreading the story about closeness of our penitentiary system to a garden in blossom to naive and gullible foreign citizens. Nobody in Georgia believes either this lie or other ones. We are facing another threat: participation of prisoners with short-term confinement in the elections, approved by Venice Commission, is fraught with danger … Tens of thousands of people may be arrested before elections because the majority of them could attend some pre-election meeting where political promises would be were declared and since it’s an infringement of the law and accordingly, such people must be put in prison. Everybody will be sentenced to about three years of confinement and they will only be released if they vote in favor of the ‘National Movement’ visibly, under the surveillance of the guard. Thus, additional tens of thousands of votes of absolutely innocent people as well as of their family members will be accrued by the authorities.

I’m surprised why the high officials of the Venice Commission who reason according to European standards can’t realize the difference between European and Georgian prisons; and what’s more, if they do, why do they think that Georgian prisoners are so free in their prisons that they will be able to participate in fair elections?

Q. – It became known that the sums expropriated from the ‘Cartu Bank’ have been returned to the owner but by transfer; and it was said that thus the use of illegal money was excluded.
S.T. – Non-cash payment of the money taken away from the bank is the simplest scheme of money-laundering. Their own illegal money, obtained by robbery, was deposited in bank and transferred to ‘Cartu Bank’ as clean money. Allegedly ‘Georgian Bank’ operates like that, otherwise how could illegal money get there? But they let ‘Cartu Bank’ take money from the ‘Georgian Bank’ didn’t they?

Q. – It became known that Bidzina Ivanishvili’s spouse will head the political movement. What prospect can this novelty have considering the events taking place in the Georgian legislative sphere?
S.T. – New political processes headed by the Ivanishvili family, regardless their citizenship status, are still in the limelight. Most amazing is not the fact of illegal deprivation of citizenship of Mrs. Khvedelidze but that of not restoring it yet despite the court ruling. I wonder where, when and under what conditions did the President of Georgia pay the adjudged GEL 100 as the court confirmed to the President that his decision to deprive Ekaterina Khvedelidze of citizenship was illegal and groundless? Is the President paying the fine or is he appealing against it? Priorities of the coalition of new political force or coalition of forces is being shaped quite clearly; this priority is people’s huge attention to the process. The last week’s news that Mrs. Eka Khvedelidze will head the political party that will be associated with Bidzina Ivanishvili can be regarded from different angles. To my mind, Eka Khvedelidze is the only citizen of our country - regardless whether Saakashvili admits it or not - against whom even the Laborites can’t utter a word that she is going to set up a party for the reason of greed for finances. No other person considered to be a leader of a party could escape such a label.

Now much attention is paid to those people who made up Ivanishvili’s entourage even for several minutes. I’m not instructing anybody but the revenge-seekers are not able to dream. Envy and despite is no basis for future progress and I think due to this feeling we witness the recurrent rotation of those people who sometimes join this movement and sometimes stay in the shadow.
Future will show how the movement established by Ivanishvili is shaped. But either way, the experience rejected by the ‘National Movement’ as a value is certainly appreciated in this case.

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