Mamuka Khazaradze, one of the founders of TBC Bank and former Chairman of its Supervisory Board, released a post on his Facebook page on July 9, saying that he plans to set up a new public movement in September aimed at “uniting the country and maintaining its independence and liberty.”
Khazaradze cited “the alarming situation” in the country and the need for “active public involvement” in the de-escalation process as the reason behind his decision.
“A deliberate process of splitting and confronting the public is obvious,” he said, adding that the June 20 night was a watershed, when “our praiseworthy and free youth expressed consistent and sincere protest against occupation and violence.”
“This protest is permanent, a continuation of historical process and a struggle for our country’s independence. If you are a citizen of this country, you cannot stay indifferent about what is happening here; you cannot but spend your time and energy on what is most important – your homeland’s welfare and freedom,” Khazaradze writes.
He also emphasized the need “for consolidation and unification of healthy, progressive and pro-Western society,” because “it actually became impossible” to achieve civil peace through the efforts of the government or political parties.
“Therefore, I deem it expedient to set up a new public movement, which will unite the representatives of various spheres, those people, who will be united by the idea of building a Western-style state in Georgia with the most competitive and strong economy, where the rule of law will triumph. Groundless labeling of each other should stop and we should unite around the idea of civic peace,” Khazaradze added.
Mamuka Khazaradze is an entrepreneur and businessperson who founded TBC Bank JSC, Georgian Reconstruction & Development Co., IDS Borjomi Georgia and Borjomi Beverages Co. N.V and who has been at the helm of 8 different companies.
While maintaining relatively low political profile throughout these years, he has remained one of country’s most prominent businessmen. In 2004, he joined other influential businessmen – led by tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili – who tried to mediate conflict between Adjara’s pro-Russian leader Aslan Abashidze and the new administration that came to power in Tbilisi following the Rose Revolution.
The Prosecutor’s Office launched investigation into money laundering charges against Khazaradze and his deputy, Badri Japaridze. The lingering conflict seems to have ended in an uneasy truce. The deadline for attracting investments by Anaklia Development Consortium expired on June 15. The government, however, decided to extend the deadline for six more months.
Khazaradze has apparently irked Georgian Dream leader Bidzina Ivanishvili by affiliating himself too closely with erstwhile PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili, an association that is rumored to have been one of the triggers Kvirikashvili’s unexpected departure.