Ivanishvili says he is quitting politics

Ivanishvili says he is quitting politics

The head of Georgia’s ruling party and the country’s wealthiest man, Bidzina Ivanishvili, said on Monday he was leaving politics for good, according to the politician's letter.

In an open letter released earlier today, Ivanishvili stated that the current leadership of the party could replace ‘his hard work, authority and skills in a worthy manner.’ 

"I have made the decision to finally retire from politics and fully distance myself from the reins of power. I am leaving the post of party chairman, as well as the party itself and am returning to my pre-2011, private lifestyle. I will turn 65 years old in just a few weeks, and this is one of the important factors in making the decision to retire from politics," Ivanishvili said, adding that the step "which is dictated by the desire to advance young people to the forefront...will not only not weaken, but will, in fact, further strengthen the ruling party."

Ivanishvili said that in coming into politics in 2011 he had two goals - ‘putting an end to Mikheil Saakashvili's (the third president of Georgia) violent, inhumane, and undemocratic regime through elections and to allow the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration.’ 

Ivanishvili founded the Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia political party in 2011. In 2012, it won the parliamentary elections as part of the Georgian Dream coalition, which included other opposition forces, ousting the party led by former President Mikhail Saakashvili. Ivanishvili became Georgia’s Prime Minister. However, in 2013 he resigned and temporarily quitted politics. In 2018, he returned to the party and was elected the Chairman of the Georgian Dream.