Georgian Billionaire Says Mission Accomplished as Prime MinisterHelena Bedwell
Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili said he’s “fully satisfied” with his performance as prime minister as he prepares to step down after presidential elections next month.
Ivanishvili will also resign as head of his coalition, which beat President Mikheil Saakashvili’s party last October to take control of the government, according to an open letter sent today by e-mail. He said he’ll return to politics if required.
“I don’t have anything against Saakashvili personally but my mission was to defeat the idea of a messiah,” Ivanishvili said. He said in October 2011 that it would take two to three years to nurture a multi-party political system, develop the judiciary and influence foreign policy.
The 57-year-old tycoon, who made most of his fortune in Russia, is worth $6.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, equal to about 40 percent of Georgia’s economy. He campaigned on a promise to improve living standards and remains committed to the previous government’s goal to join NATO and the European Union.