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Georgian opposition leader pledged not to persecute dissidents

October 02, 2012, 1:02 UTC+3
"The Georgian president has in fact recognized the defeat of the ruling party. That will help him to somehow preserve the party’s cracked reputation," Ivanishvili went on to say
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TBILISI, October 2 (Itar-Tass) — Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the Georgian Dream opposition coalition, said on Monday that he didn’t intend to persecute dissidents or any of his political opponents.

In an interview with the Tbilisi-based “9-arkhi” television channel Ivanishvili said he expected his coalition to win about 110 out of 150 seats in the Georgian parliament.

“But I can clearly say that we are not going to persecute dissidents or those who supported the policy of the present authorities,” Ivanishvili said, adding that he was ready to cooperate with President Mikhail Saakashvili for the sake of Georgia’s state interests if the latter took a constructive stance.

“The Georgian president has in fact recognized the defeat of the ruling party. That will help him to somehow preserve the party’s cracked reputation,” Ivanishvili went on to say.

His remark practically excluded the possibility of impeaching the incumbent president if the Georgian Dream coalition wins the parliamentary elections.

Ivanishvili also stressed that Georgia would continue its course towards integration with the European Union and NATO if it wins the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

“Foreign politicians, diplomats and public figures have often asked me what policy Georgia will pursue if the coalition wins the elections. I’ve always answered and I am saying that now that it will continue its course towards integration with the European Union and NATO,” Ivanishvili said.

Earlier on Monday, he also stressed the need to improve relations with Russia. “We are going to improve our relations with Russia. It’s our duty to restore friendly relations with Russia. We will do everything to achieve this goal,” Ivanishvili told Itar-Tass.

 

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