A decision by leader of Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili, not to make use of a constitutional amendment, allowing him to vote and be elected in Georgia’s elections without having a Georgian citizenship, was “somewhat surprising”, Davit Bakradze, the parliamentary chairman, sad on May 23.
Ivanishvili called on President Saakashvili on May 22 to veto “absurd” and “reckless” constitutional amendment; he said that he was ready to apply for a Georgian passport through a dual-citizenship procedure as recommended by the Civil Registry Agency in April.
“If you do not take into consideration my advice and do not veto the constitutional amendment, I will not become part of anti-state actions; will not make use of these constitutional amendments and will not participate in the parliamentary elections,” Ivanishvili says in his open letter to President Saakashvili.
Ruling party responded that with these constitutional amendments the authorities paved way for Ivanishvili to run in the elections and now it was completely up to him whether he would make use of this opportunity or not.
“To say the truth [Ivanishvili’s] statement was somewhat surprising for me,” Davit Bakradze, the parliamentary chairman, said, adding that it was U-turn in Ivanishvili’s position. “For months we’ve been hearing from him and his team that he was going to run in the parliamentary elections… but absence of citizenship was undermining his plans.”
“There is no restriction whatsoever; if he wants to run in the elections he has full right to do so; there is no restriction for his political activities; so it is totally up to him to decide whether to run or not and pointing finger at the authorities in the condition when we have removed all the problems is simply incorrect; it’s wrong,” Bakradze said.