“Georgia is my destiny!” - Kyiv’s ex-Mayor Extraordinaire sets his sights on Georgian Politics
10 December, 2015
“Georgia is my destiny!” - Kyiv’s ex-Mayor Extraordinaire sets his sights on Georgian Politics
According to what former Mayor of Kyiv Leonid Chernovetskyi told journalists in Kobuleti, he has established his own political organization named “For Happy Georgia”. Mr. Chernovetskyi has been living in Kobuleti for five years now; he even holds Georgian citizenship. While the Ukrainian politician did not specify who members of his organization are going to be, he made it perfectly clear that he is not going to “cooperate with torturers”. Other than that, his plans are quite ambitious, involving restructuring
Georgia to fit a Swiss model. Georgian Journal invited Mr. Chernovetskyi for an exclusive interview to find out what caused a man worth 80 million to get involved in Georgian politics and which political groups he considers to be partners:

“I promise to work towards supporting every single person who is unemployed or retired and does not know what he will eat tomorrow.”

– I decided to go into politics because I want to spend the last days of my life here, in Georgia. Georgia is my destiny! I am 64 years old and I do not know how many years of active life God has in store for me, but it pains me greatly to see that today’s Georgia is uncomfortable for most of its inhabitants. I cannot bear to look at poverty, shortage of jobs and the Parliament’s lack of professionalism. Therefore, I want to implement in Georgia the laws that I failed to implement in Ukraine.

– Before we talk about your activities in Kyiv, could you specify your goals? Do you intend to attain parliamentary majority?

– The only people I am going to work with will be patriotic, progressive-minded, educated and smart – the kind that is not driven by political profits. There is no way we are going to cooperate with political traitors – those who exchanged one faction for another, regardless of the excuse, and those who tried to intimidate the Georgian people with their illegal actions. Also, I’m putting a bounty of 150 000 GEL on Megis Kardava, one of the “chief torturers” of the previous government; it will go to whoever manages to deliver him into the law enforcement’s hands.

– There used to be talks about you being friends with National Movement’s leaders, who sheltered you after Ukrainian police started asking questions about your activities there. Could you comment on this?

“This is how I imagine a happy Georgia – a second Switzerland.”

– I never rubbed shoulders with the National Movement. My friends are my classmates; there is no such thing as “friends” in politics. Ukrainian police never showed any interest in me and I sure as hell did not seek shelter anywhere. In order to strip me of my authority, Yanukovich [ex-president of Ukraine] used all media means available to him against me, but he never managed to have a criminal case opened against me.

– The acting mayor of Kyiv accuses you of illegally purchasing land in the city, which has dealt considerable damage to the Ukrainian state. Yanukovich dismissed you from your post precisely on the same grounds.

– I do not own a single inch of land in Kyiv; it would have been discovered long ago otherwise. And no one “dismissed” me – a photo of my note of voluntary retirement from my post can be found both on my Facebook page and in the Ukrainian press.

– The fact stands that you are still considered a rather scandalous person in Ukraine. Furthermore, Georgians do not know you as a politician at all. Why would they vote for you?

– I promise them to work towards supporting every single person who is unemployed or retired and does not know what he will eat tomorrow.

– Why did you name your party from “Happy Georgia” and what does happy Georgia look like in your eyes?

– I’ve been all around the world and I haven’t seen a country more comfortable for ordinary citizens and businessmen than Switzerland. This is how I imagine a happy Georgia – a second Switzerland. I will offer the new Parliament to simply copy and implement their main social and business laws; no invention will be necessary!

Author: Rusudan Shelia
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