Saakashvili calls for peace and unity at ‘critical time’
By Eter Tsotniashvili
Monday, May 5President Mikheil Saakashvili said that the country’s main aim is to “achieve peace” when he addressed his ruling National Movement’s party congress on May 3.
He also called for unity at a “critical time”, saying that part of Georgia is “occupied by the greatest aggressor,” in an apparent reference to Russia’s recent decision—decried by Tbilisi as illegal aggression—to reinforce its peacekeeping contingent in the separatist enclave of Abkhazia.
“A free, united and self-reliant nation cannot fail to achieve victory,” the president said.
The president also introduced the ruling party election list, which is headed by recently-resigned foreign minister Davit Bakradze.
“I welcome the new team. Davit Bakradze is a real leader,” Saakashvili said. He also thanked Parliamentary Speaker Nino Burjanadze, who at the top of the party list until she pulled out of the election race last month.
Saakashvili praised her for setting a “tradition of dialogue and compromise in our politics,” adding that these would continue to be the main characteristics of the party.
Touting the National Movement’s achievements, he spoke of “miracles” in the fight against corruption and development of the economy, but also acknowledged the party had made mistakes during its time in power.
The mistakes, he said, were part of the government’s vigorous effort to bring Georgia “to its feet.”