Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of Georgian Dream opposition coalition, has called on those journalists, who, as he put it, are serving “lies, planted” by President Saakashvili, to stop “obeying violence” and “to return back to the society.”
“Time is running out,” Ivanishvili said while speaking at a campaign meeting with supporters in the port town of Poti on August 6. “We will definitely see present authorities off on October 1 and new authorities will definitely come; you [addressing to journalists] have little time left for proving to the society that you are resisting lies, planted by one man [President Saakashvili].”
“It’s my request and a demand from the society – and before this demand is voiced sharply – please, change your position and become more objective, show your resistance and do not obey violence,” said Ivanishvili, whose wife owns Tbilisi-based Channel 9 TV station. “Time is running out and do not make it difficult for you to be part of the society as we win elections and come [into power], because there is too much irritation in the society towards many journalists; you should manage and return back to the society.”
“I understand very well, that many journalists are in a very bad situation as too much pressure is being exerted against them; we will stand by your side; many international observers will arrive in Georgia in two weeks; be strong and do not lie, serve to the truth; that’s your duty. You should know that journalists play an important role. You represent a fourth branch of government and you should regain this [role], do not serve first and second [branches of the government], regain you power and serve to the society. Much will depend on your position,” Ivanishvili said.