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Georgia: Allegations made online against billionaire opposition politician

Categories: Central Asia & Caucasus, Western Europe, Georgia, Ireland, Citizen Media, Elections, Politics

As parliamentary elections approach this year in Georgia, to be followed by a presidential vote in 2013, allegations against Bidzina Ivanishvili [1], a billionaire opposition politician, have appeared on the Internet [2]. The alleged exposé of life in the Ivanishvili household by American teacher Patrick Downey, formerly employed by the businessman turned politician, have been met with skepticism from other expatriates in the former Soviet republic, and not least because of claims also made against Georgia in general, the U.S., and [his ancestral homeland of] Ireland. Downey had sought asylum or residency in the latter, according to a video blog [3], “[…] in light of recent uncontrolled and willfully ill-advised policies concerning the mass emigration of non-Irish persons to Ireland […].” Ivanishvili has responded [4] by saying that Downey “is suffering from psychological problems.”