(Eurasianet) Georgia’s top banker has signaled his intention to enter politics and take on the country’s top businessman, Bidzina Ivanishvili, the chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party. Mamuka Khazaradze’s entrance into politics could offer a third choice to voters disenchanted with both GD and its archfoe, the United National Movement (UNM).
Khazaradze, the founder of the nation’s leading financial institution, TBC Bank, announced in early July his plans to launch a new political movement in September aimed at building a Western-style democracy, arguing that Georgia is currently off track. Khazaradze made the announcement not long after massive anti-government protests met police violence on June 20, saying his movement would aim to mend the widening political rifts in Georgian society. [...]
“There is a hankering for something new, for an alternative option, and Khazaradze can offer that if he plays his hand right,” Kakachia told Eurasianet. [...]
Also like then, the governing force – then UNM, now GD – is nearing the end of its second term. Two has been an unlucky number for every Georgian ruling force for the last quarter century. “Traditionally, Georgian trust in any single political force or leader expires after two terms,” Kakachia said. [...]
Kakachia said: “A lot will depend on who is on Khazaradze’s team. If he surrounds himself with likable public figures and accomplished professionals, he could overcome [Georgians’] negative sentiment toward bankers.” [...]
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