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Saakashvili Restores Georgian Citizenship For Rival Ivanishvili

October 16, 2012

Georgia's presidential press office says Mikheil Saakashvili has restored Georgian citizenship to prime ministerial nominee Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Ivanishvili, whose Georgian Dream bloc defeated Saakashvili's long-dominant ruling party at the polls on October 1, was deprived of Georgian citizenship at the end of last year after it emerged that he also had French citizenship.

Ivanishvili, 56, gave up his French citizenship, but French authorities informed him that his citizenship could only be annuled once his Georgian citizenship was restored.

Ivanishvili named his cabinet picks on October 9, including Georgian ex-soccer star Kakha Kaladze, whom he nominated as the country's next energy minister.

Kaladze, who has never worked on state managerial posts, will also serve as one of two deputy prime ministers.

Based on reporting by and AFP


Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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