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Ivanishvili Says Sure of Regaining Citizenship
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 15 Jan.'12 / 23:37

Billionaire opposition politician, Bidzina Ivanishvili, said he was sure he would regain his Georgian citizenship allowing him to personally establish and lead a political party, but if not he was considering as a plan B that his wife would do that on his behalf.

Ivanishvili's wife, Ekaterine Khvedelidze, 39, has asked the Tbilisi City Court to order an immediate execution of a judgment restoring her Georgian citizenship, citing that she had an intention to run in the parliamentary elections later this year.

Ivanishvili told journalists on January 15, that initially he was considering putting his 19-year-old son, Uta, as a nominal party leader in case he failed to regain his Georgian citizenship, but the plan was dropped as his elder son would not be eligible to run for parliament because of his age and it was decided to assign this task to his wife. He also suggested that involving a family member was important because to demonstrate the planned party's affiliation personally to him.

Ivanishvili, however, also said that it was kind of a secondary plan and there was only "a little probability, one or two per cent" that it would be required to put it into practice.

"Like it happened in case of Eka [referring to his wife], when they [the authorities] had to return to the legal framework and restore her Georgian citizenship... he [referring to President Saakashvili] will also be forced to return my Georgian citizenship," said Ivanishvili, who has already applied for citizenship through naturalization.

Ivanishvili made the remarks while speaking with journalists before attending an event dedicated to 80th birthday of of a Georgian actor, Otar Megvinetukhutsesi, in Tbilisi.

Ivanishvili's wife was also there, who said, that she was ready to assume responsibility in politics if needed.

"I came into politics with my husband, as he has explained it [Ivanishvili's going into politics] was a joint decision of the family so we were all ready for assuming responsibility at certain moment," Ekaterine Khvedelidze told journalists.

"Today we have a situation when my husband is being restricted in his political activities [because of not having Georgian citizenship], so I will do everything I can what will be good for my family and my homeland. I think we will succeed, because if we take a look at the activities of women throughout our history, you will agree that women have always been distinguished with thier principled position, purposefulness and commitment. The Georgian Dream [a public movement established by Ivanishvili and a supposed name of his planned party] will win in any case; every day brings a victory for us and the largest victory will be gained on the election day," she said. "I am not afraid of anything and I am ready for everything."

Ivanishvili said, that he had a well-thought plan of action and added that "complaints" recently heard to his address that he was not politically active enough, especially against the background of President Saakashvili's recent campaign-style events, were groundless.

"I want to address my supporters, but not only them. Complaints are heard often that there is a low activity from our team and personally from me. I want to reassure everyone and explain, that everything is ok - everything is well-thought and I have everything planned, everything will happen timely and everything will be ok and everything will be ok not only for my supporters, but for the entire population of Georgia; stay calm and wait," Ivanishvili said.

"Do not try to make parallels with a man [referring to President Saakashvili] who is running around in hysteria and who continues more actively creating this facade perception as if he is a builder and that as if he does everything needed for revival of Georgia. As you know in fact, in the best case, only tenth of what should be done is now being made in Georgia and even what is done that man [Saakashvili] portrays as if it has been done by him, claiming credits for that. The fact that only tenth of what should be done is made now is exactly the result of his policies. At the same time he is constantly cursing from TV screens; I hope he won't surprise the world by starting swearing from TV screens and by claiming credits for the fact that day follows night," Ivanishvili said.

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