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Saakashvili to enter politics in Ukraine

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, November 10
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has commented on Georgia’s ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili’s quitting as Odessa's Governor, stressing “after losing elections in Georgia, someone decided to do politics in Ukraine”.

Poroshenko stated that Saakashvili, who was appointed as Odessa's Governor in 2015 and accused Poroshenko and his Government of lobbying for corruption a couple of days ago, planned to move to the opposition.

“We are a democratic country and if he made this decision to start a campaign in an opposition capacity...I hope the Government of Ukraine accepts his resignation from the position of head of Odessa’s regional administration if he decides to go into politics,” Poroshenko said.

Saakashvili, who was deprived of Georgian citizenship due to gaining Ukrainian nationality and is wanted by Georgia’s law enforcers for several charges, has responded to Poroshenko on his Facebook page.

"President Poroshenko is well aware that I have not taken a direct part in the Georgian elections and I could not do it even if I wanted, as I am a citizen of Ukraine. Who else but he knows that it is not relevant to compare me to Dekanoidze [Chief of National Police, Khatia Dekanoidze, ex Georgian official] and other "invited" Georgians. Speculation with my nationality looks like Avakov’s methods, but I wish the President's rhetoric to be of a higher level,” Saakashvili said.

Saakashvili stated he and Poroshenko arrived in Ukraine about at the same time.

“He arrived from Moldova, and I from Georgia, and of course, I am grateful for my Ukrainian citizenship. So, everyone will have to get used to the fact that I am a Ukrainian politician and I will win or be defeated in Ukraine and not in Georgia,” Saakashvili said.

“The President knows that I wanted to resign as early as six months ago, but he promised me to carry out reforms. However, I no longer believe his promises and the elections of Georgia have nothing to do with this,” Saakashvili says.

It is a fact Saakashvili was actively involved in the pre-election campaigning of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party, a party he founded and which ruled Georgia during 2003-2012.

For his video addresses and promises that he would return to Georgia after the October 8 parliamentary elections, Saakashvili came under deserved criticism from Georgia’s civil sector and the electoral administration, as a foreign citizen is not permitted to campaign for any political party during the elections.

However, it is unlikely that the elections are the only reason of controversy between Saakashvili and his university friend Poroshenko.

Saakashvili is very ambitious and serving as Odessa's Governor would likely not be enough for him.

Perhaps Poroshenko decided to get rid of him and Saakashvili was the first to make an announcement about “ a new stage of his life in Ukraine.”

The fact is that Saakashvili is doing the same in Ukraine as he had done in Georgia before becoming the President of Georgia in 2004.

Before being elected President prior to the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia, Saakashvili was in Government, and started criticizing Shevardnadze’s administration, which finally led to the revolution.

It is possible that he plans a similar move in Ukraine.