Gratitude to oligarch: ruling Georgian Dream party celebrates its 10th anniversary
Georgian Dream celebrates its 10th anniversary
Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party is celebrating its 10th anniversary. In this regard, the party issued a special statement, which talks about the achievements and progress that the country has made over these 10 years. At the same time, Georgian Dream deputies and officials express their gratitude to the founder of the party, oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili, on social media.
What is written in the letter of “Georgian Dream”
The letter says that over the 10 years of its existence, the Georgian Dream has played a decisive role in the recent history of Georgia, and since 2012 it has won a mandate of public trust nine times.
“In 2012, when our party was founded under the leadership of Bidzina Ivanishvili, the country was in the worst situation – democracy and human rights were trampled by an authoritarian regime”, the party said.
In their opinion, it was in this difficult situation that the Georgian Dream, led by Bidzina Ivanishvili, was able to make a democratic shift in the development of the country, since Bidzina Ivanishvili and the Georgian Dream returned freedom and democracy to the people, “which is a necessary condition for the progress and development of the country”.
A significant part of the appeal is devoted to the activities of the previous government headed by Mikheil Saakashvili from 2004-to 2012. In particular, the letter says that thanks to the Georgian Dream, the systematic practice of business racketeering, human rights violations, violation of human dignity, torture, and inhuman treatment were put an end to. The number of prisoners decreased by 2.5 times, and their mortality – by 12 times. During the first years, the number of lawsuits sent from Georgia to the European Court of Human Rights decreased by 11 times.
The statement also states that media freedom and pluralism are guaranteed to a high degree. The systematic practice of electoral fraud has been prevented, and electoral bodies are formed according to the will of the population. Economic freedom and property rights are protected at a high level. Georgian Dream declares that the country has adopted a new constitution that is fully in line with the best European practices and standards of parliamentary democracy.
The letter refers to the court, the prosecutor’s office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The party emphasizes that law enforcement agencies are no longer used as a repressive mechanism, as evidenced by studies and statistics from a number of authoritative international organizations:
“During the first years of the existence of the judicial system, the number of acquittals increased by 6 times, the ratio of pre-trial and administrative detentions decreased by 3 times, and the speed of satisfying requests for investigative actions decreased by 2 times. The total amount of the fine has been reduced by 5 times, and the total amount of the bail has been reduced by 18 times”.
Speaking about the economy, the ruling party notes that, despite the global economic crisis of 2014 and 2020, Georgia’s economy has grown from 27 billion to 60 billion lari. State budget revenues rose from $8 billion to $19.5 billion.
“According to the studies of all highly qualified international organizations, Georgia is a leading country in the region in the fight against corruption”.
Based on data from the World Bank, the party claims that 350,000 citizens have overcome poverty. Also, according to the Georgian Dream, a universal health care system and other effective mechanisms for social protection of the population have been launched. The budget of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection has tripled.
“The government of the Georgian Dream is the first government in Georgia, under which there was no war in the country. Thanks to a pragmatic foreign policy, despite serious security challenges, the Georgian Dream has strengthened peace and qualitatively increased the degree of stability and security of the country. Georgia has made unprecedented progress towards integration into Western structures. The degree of compatibility with NATO standards has been qualitatively improved, we have signed an Association Agreement and a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union, and we have introduced a visa-free regime for EU citizens in Georgia. The logical continuation of our consistent progress towards the EU is the submission of a formal application for obtaining the status of a candidate member of the EU”, the letter says.
Party leaders also responded to the 10th anniversary of the Georgian Dream on social media.
“10 years ago, supporting the spirit of the Georgian people, inspired by the desire to build Georgia’s dream future, we gathered around Bidzina Ivanishvili and founded the Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia party. Our party succeeded in consolidating the political spectrum in the country, leading the country out of the autocratic impasse through democratic elections, and returning Georgia to the right path of European choice!” — writes Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze.
MP Irma Zavradashvili apologizes to Bidzina Ivanishvili:
“Mr. Bidzina, first thank you and sorry. “Thank you for laying the groundwork for the country’s survival, and I’m sorry that not everyone understood what you did to the nation and at what cost”.
Billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili appeared in Georgian politics in 2011, forming an opposition political coalition called Georgian Dream, which united the entire spectrum of the opposition at the time and opposed President Saakashvili and his government. Ivanishvili’s coalition won the October 2012 parliamentary elections, ending the United National Movement’s nine-year rule.
In November of the same year, Ivanishvili became the prime minister of the country. 13 months after, his party had also won the presidential election, he declared that he had fulfilled his task and voluntarily stepped down as prime minister. Ivanishvili left a member of his entourage, Irakli Garibashvili, as prime minister.
Initially, Ivanishvili often appeared in the media, actively campaigned during the 2016 parliamentary elections, held press conferences for journalists, but then disappeared from the political arena for some time.
In April 2018, a few months before the presidential elections, Ivanishvili returned to public politics and became chairman of the ruling party.
Ivanishvili denied being the country’s shadow ruler. However, he admitted that he participated in the selection of a candidate for prime minister and in discussions of banking sector issues in the government.