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Georgian tycoon-politician might use wife to form party

by | Jan 12, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Ekaterine Khvedelidze, wife of the Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili is going to set up a new political party and compete in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Khvedelidze said this today as she appealed for a judge to immediately enforce a court ruling which restores her Georgian citizenship.

In October, her husband unexpectedly broke out of his role as a behind-the-scenes do-gooder and levelled a scathing attack against president Saakashvili, saying he would challenge him in Georgia’s parliamentary election in October 2012.

Four days later, Saakashvili revoked Ivanishvili’s and his wife’s citizenship, based on a request from the Civil Registry, which said it was not previously aware that the two were French citizens.

Georgian law does not as a rule allow double citizenship.

In December, a court rejected Ivanishvili’s plea to annul the president’s decision, but the court found that Khvedelidze’s citizenship was incorrectly revoked.

If or when she gets it back, she will be allowed to form a political party.

As Ivanishvili’s wife she will let him run in the election indirectly, a solution many have speculated that the businessman would go for after he lost his court case.

The government has appealed the court’s decision, and until a final ruling in Supreme Court, Khvedelidze’s citizenship is still hanging in the balance.

Archil Kbilahsvili, one of Ivanishvili’s lawyers said today that there is an exception in the law about ‘extraordinary circumstances’ which would let Khvedelidze have back her citizenship until Supreme Court has given its ruling.



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