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Ebralidze: a scarecrow for Saakashvili?13.11.2009 | 17:39
Representative of the Russian branch of the World Congress of Peoples of Georgia Alexander Kinteraya was not allowed to enter Georgia. He intended to open an organizational branch there. The reason for denial was not mentioned; however, it is the presidential ambitions of the Congress Head Alexander Ebralidze that could be the only obstacle.
The World Congress of Peoples of Georgia has had no office of its own in Georgia up to the present moment. Does it sound surprising? Well, it depends. The point is that the congress was established in Vienna. As is known, the Austrian capital became shelter for many businessmen and politicians forced out of the country by Mikhail Saakashvili in his struggle for power and "legality".
The congress is headed by a Russian from St. Petersburg Alexander Ebralidze, a native of Batumi with a controversial past, owner of a business empire extending its hands throughout several countries.
In May, Alexander Ebralidze made claims for the presidential post. This seemed to be almost a fantastic statement so long as he has got no citizenship. Nevertheless, he asked Mikhail Saakashvili to issue a Georgian passport for him.
The response was expected in three months; however, the time is over and there has been no reaction from Tbilisi. Well, one should not expect any favors from Saakashvili in respect of Ebralidze.
As soon as the Petersburg businessman who came from Batimi announced his presidential ambitions, his name was reduced to dust in connection with a military mutiny in Mukhrovani. Chairman of Defense and National Security Committee of the Georgian Parliament Georgiy Targamadze stated that together with other criminal authorities such as Tariel Oninai, Ebralidze planned and sponsored a military coup.
Ebralidze filed a suit to defend his honor and dignity in Tbilisi and, according to the media's suppositions, was to come to the court session yesterday, on November 11.
But even if the court declares Targamadze's words to be slander, it is not going to help Ebralidze obtain the citizenship. As explained by parliament deputy Irakliy Kavtaradze to Rosbalt agency, the name of Ebralidze "is not associated with any good intentions", that is why he doubts whether the businessman's request will be satisfied.
Considering the Georgian law, a Georgian passport would not help him become president either, for this post requires a 15-year residence qualification, while Ebralidze has been residing in Russia since 1971.
Strange as it may seem, these reasons do not stop Ebralidze. He stated once in his interview to Georgian newspaper Version: "Yes, I am a new person in the Georgian politics; yet, I am going to have a handslide victory in the first round of elections whenever they are held".
He promises to return the lost republics to the Georgians, infuse large funds into the country, open new productions and make Georgia truly independent of the moods of other states, at the same time continuing cooperation both with EU and the US.
When asked whether he has got sufficient support of his political activities in Georgia, Ebralidze said it was no problem. He promised to open the branch of the World Congress of Peoples of Georgia in Tbilisi in September. However, the presentation of the new office is going to be made only today.
This time, mentioning the name of Ebralidze in Georgia could not but arouse another scandal. Director of the Russian branch of the Congress Alexander Kinteraya who has come from Austria was turned back at the airport.
"The reason of the denial to enter the country was not mentioned as usual, while in reality, the whole of affair is quite simple: Kinteraya's visit to Georgia is the final step of preparing President of the World Congress of Peoples of Georgia Alexander Ebralidze's visit to Georgia", GHN is citing the press service statement.
Meanwhile, Director of the Tbilisian branch of the Congress Nana Japaridze-Chkoidze stated to Novosti-Georgia that Kinteraya did not have any problems while visiting Georgia this August. "That is why, I do not see any reason for blacklisting him this time as one of those who are not allowed to enter Georgia", - Japaridze-Chkoidze says.
According to members of the Congress, this is not the first action undertaken by the Georgian authorities in respect of Ebralidze. This May, the attorney of businessman Yuri Novolodskiy was also denied entrance to the country.
Once Ebralidze stated his desire to set up his own party in Georgia. Something of the kind appeared at the beginning of September when the former parliament deputy and Press Secretary of former president Eduard Shevardnadze Valeriy Kvaratskhelia established an oppositional party named Neutral Georgia. In a month, the journalist invited Ebralidze as an associate and... a sponsor.
«Perhaps, in future we will switch to a more active form of cooperation in the Georgian political life, - Kvaratskhelia told. - If he chooses to cooperate with us, he has got enough means to sponsor one political movement, one party".