Ivanishvili agrees to become Georgian Dream chairman

Ivanishvili agrees to become Georgian Dream chairman

Founder of the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili plans to return to politics and become chairman of the ruling party.

Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced changes in the ruling party management at the briefing today.

Kvirikashvili said that Ivanishvili agreed to take over Georgian Dream after Kvirikashvili and other party leaders asked him to. He noted that Ivanishvili’s decision will have a positive influence on the country’s political life and will serve as a new stimulus for the party. 

The Georgian Dream political council meeting is planned to be held in few days which will be followed by the congress meeting where party members will vote for Bidzina Ivanishvili as a new chairman of the party.

Ivanishvili founded and led the Georgian Dream coalition in 2011. The party won a majority of seats in the parliamentary election of 2012. Although Ivanishvili officially retired from politics in late 2013 with the election of Giorgi Margvelashvili, the opposition claims that he continues to have influence on Georgian Dream. 

The head of the Center for Global Studies, Nana Devdariani, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that there can be two reasons of Bidzina Ivanishvili's return to politics, primarily the decline in support for the Georgian Dream among the population.

"The presidential election is underway. The presidential team has certain problems with support. And now there is little that can help the Georgian Dream to push its candidate, except for Ivanishvili's personal authority, especially against the background of how much the authorities were disappointed in the previous presidential candidate, Margvelashvili, whom Ivanishvili almost imposed on the people," she explained.

In this regard, there is a high probability that Ivanishvili will not just support a new presidential candidate, but may run himself. "This role is most suitable for him, because he does not want to engage in politics, but the presidential representative functions  are quite suitable for him," Nana Devdariani said.

A member of the ‘Expert Club of Georgia’ Vakhtang Maisaya, in turn, expects that Bidzina Ivanishvili will head the government in the future. "A real political crisis has begun in Georgia. In fact, the ruling political party split into two parts, which was fraught with great consequences. If Mr Ivanishvili had not made the decision to return to politics now, political chaos could have erupted in the country," he noted.

"Since Georgia's current Prime Minister is a technical prime minister and has no political weight, despite the fact that he was the chairman of the party, one should expect that Ivanishvili will replace him in the leadership position after he officially becomes chairman of the Georgian Dream. I don't think that Ivanishvili would limit himself to representational functions during the current crisis, I think he will take control of the country," Vakhtang Maisaya predicts.

"The ground was prepared for Ivanishvili's return to the prime minister's chair, people in main positions in the government loyal to Kvirikashvili were removed from office, and the people loyal to Ivanishvili were appointed instead, for example, Maya Tskitishvili, who became the minister of infrastructure. Also, there's an option that the current Minister of Internal Affairs, Giorgi Gakharia, will become the Prime Minister," the political scientist concluded.