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Georgian Ex-PM Ivanishvili Announces Political Exit


Bidzina Ivanishvili speaking to media in Tbilisi in October, when he was still prime minister
Georgian billionaire and former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili has announced his withdrawal from politics at a party congress in Tbilisi.

"I am leaving politics but will remain an active member of society," Ivanishvili said.

Ivanishvili served as prime minister from October 2012 until earlier this month, following the inauguration of President Giorgi Margvelashvili.

He entered politics in October 2011 and led the Georgian Dream coalition in legislative elections against the United National Movement of former President Mikheil Saakashvili.

He said at the time that he would only serve as prime minister for one year.

Some analysts have suggested he will continue to influence politics behind the scenes, but Ivanishvili said such speculation is "absurd."

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax