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Ivanishvili Praises Prime Minister Amid Georgian Leadership Feud

  • RFE/RL's Georgian Service

The Georgian tycoon who led an opposition coalition to power in 2012 has defended Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili amid a feud in the South Caucasus nation's leadership.

In an interview with the weekly Kviris Palitra published on September 15, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili said tension between Garibashvili and President Giorgi Margvelashvili should not be "over-dramatized."

But he said Margvelashvili’s hesitance "to establish personal contacts" with Garibashvili's team was the main problem and praised the prime minister, saying his term has been a success.

On September 11, Margvelashvili said his plans to visit UN headquarters this month had been thwarted by Garibashvili's government.

Ivanishvili, whose coalition defeated longtime leader Mikheil Saakashvili's party in a 2012 election, named Garibashvili as his successor in November 2013.

Margvelashvili was elected president in October 2013.

With reporting by