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Georgian Rebel Tycoon Fights For His Citizenship

Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili
A Georgian billionaire who was stripped of his citizenship after joining the opposition has accused the country's authorities of seeking to end his political career.

Bidzina Ivanishvili told a press conference in Tbilisi on November 1 that President Mikheil Saakashvili "has absolutely illegally" annulled his citizenship and that he will fight to have it returned.

Last month, Ivanishvili announced plans to form a political party to compete against Saakashvili in parliamentary polls in 2012.

Days later, he was stripped of his citizenship for violating laws on Georgian citizenship, effectively barring him from political activities in Georgia and from financing opposition groups.

Georgian authorities have denied charges that the move was politically motivated.

compiled from agency reports

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