The financier Bidzina Ivanishvili is satisfied so far with the impact he has had, after announcing he would challenge the ruling party in the next election by founding a new party and buying a TV station.
According to his press secratary, Irakli Tripolsky, Ivanishvili’s first statement “caused deep resonance in the society”.
Next step will be another statement to be published on October 12.
‘Bidzina Ivanishvili will release one more address to the Georgian society on 12 October. The address will clearly define his attitude to various political actors, media outlets and political institutions’, Tripolsky said.
Two days later Ivanishvili is willing to go on Georgia’s public broadcaster to answer journalists’s questions.
Irakli Tripolsky used to be chairman of the board of trustees at the public broadcaster, but left in 2008, saying he didn’t want to be held hostage to the ruling party.
But the chairman of the broadcaster told Interpressnews he wasn’t informed that the financier wants to come on their channel.
Free business no longer exists in Georgia, according to Ivanishvili, Instead is a system of control, with no rule of law. People who demonstrate against it, are subject to brutal attacks, like the raid against demonstrators on 26. May.
What makes it possible for Mikheil Saakashvili to get away with it, is his total control over the media, Ivanishvili writes further. He calls the Georgian media “the president’s lie machine”, which daily spews lies and boasting about how great everything is going.
He even goes further, calling two Tbilisi-based cable channels Maestro and Kavkazia — which take pride in being independent — “pseudo-oppositional”. The financier has proposed to buy one of them and share air time 50/50 between the current owners and Ivanishvili’s incipient movement.
Journalists at Maestro and Kavkazia have reacted coldly to Ivanishvili’s approaches. Shalva Ramishvili of Maestro said the accusation that the channels are under president’s influence was an “insult”.