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Saakashvili weighs-in on latest political drama

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, May 23
President Mikheil Saakashvili claims that the detention of General Secretary of the United National Movement, Vano Merabishvili and acting Kakheti Governor, Zurab Tchiaberashvili, might push the country into isolation. Saakashvili stresses that Georgia should not repeat the mistakes made by Ukraine.

Saakashvili stated that that Ukraine’s [former] Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was arrested under more serious charges than Merabishvili faces and now Ukraine is frozen with respect to EU integration.

“This country has actually made no progress regarding the EU and NATO. Ukraine has serious problems with the rest of the world because of this. Everyone should think what the consequences of the arrest of Merabishvili might be,” Saakashvili stated.

The president highly assessed the activities of Tchiaberashvili and underscored that during Tchiaberashvili’s time in the diplomatic service he achieved many goals in favor of Georgia’s non-recognition policy and international awareness.

If there is anyone in Georgia after me, whom Russia wants to get rid of and destroy, that’s Zurab Tchiaberashvili.”

Saakashvili was asked concerning the May 17th demonstration.

The President stated that “it is one question how appropriate it was holding a demonstration like this the day before killed soldiers were placed.”

Saakashvili underscored that each citizen has a right to express his views. However the state leadership should ensure that each citizen is obedient to the law. Saakashvili highlighted that during the last 9 years, no such violent mass of people during the demonstration had taken place.

The president had to answer the question regarding the well-known murders that occurred during the leadership of the United National Movement. One of the cases was Sandro Girgvliani’s murder. Saakashvili admitted that he was very sorry that he did not meet with the mother of Girgvliani, because as president he felt responsibility for the issue.

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili stated that in the materials that had been sent to the Strasburg Court on Girgvliani’s case, the president’s name is also mentioned.

Lawyer of Girgvliani and current member of the Georgian Dream coalition, Shalva Shavgulidze, said the president’s statement is a lie regarding the possible military amnesty on murderers and emphasized that those individuals accused in murder of Girgvliani were released through the president’s personal amnesty.

Editor in Chief of Tabula newspaper and an active supporter of the demonstration against homophobia, Tamar Chergoleishvili, strictly criticized the president for his words over May 17 rally.

“Despite the fact you are greedy, the president, as it seems your intellect has been stunted, the statement will not help you to regain power,” Chergoleishvili stated through her Facebook page.

Majority representative Koba Davitashvili stated that the president is straddling both sides of the argument with regard to the May 17 human rights disaster.