Ex-president Saakashvili:
“Whatever the election outcome, I won’t return to Georgia”

  • Georgia’s former president says he will remain in Ukraine and fight for a better future for the country. Photo by Newsweek.
Agenda.ge, 8 Oct 2016 - 14:33, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s ex-President and now governor of Odessa in Ukraine says he will not return to Georgia, regardless of the Parliamentary Election results.

People here [in Ukraine] say Georgia is conducting elections [and] Saakashvili’s party will win and he will return to Georgia,” Saakashvili told Ukrainian media NewOne. 
However it’s not my style to run from the battlefield. To me, being here in Ukraine means fighting for reforms. This country isn’t strange for me and I’m going to fight to the end for Ukraine. I say this to avoid any future controversies over the issue,” said Georgia’s ex-president today.

Saakashvili’s wife and former first lady Sandra Roelofs, who is ranked number two on opposition United National Movement (UNM) party list, earlier said her husband would return to Georgia after the elections.

He will soon be with us, here in Georgia, to celebrate victory. If he needs to dig a tunnel from Odessa to Sololaki [a district in central Tbilisi] he will do this,” said Roelofs about two weeks ago at a UNM rally.

The UNM party was founded by Saakashvili and led the Government from 2003-2012. UNM was defeated by the current ruling Georgian Dream party through the 2012 Parliamentary Elections. 

Meanwhile Saakashvili was Georgia’s third president and led the country from 2004-2007 and again from 2008-2013. 

In 2014 Saakashvili was officially charged for his role in several crimes however by that time he was in Ukraine.

On May 30, 2015 Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko appointed Saakashvili as head of the country’s Odessa region. At the same time he was also granted Ukrainian citizenship. 

Receiving Ukrainian citizenship meant Saakashvili’s Georgian citizenship was automatically revoked, as Georgian legislation prohibited people from holding dual citizenships, except for some exceptions. 

Saakashvili is no longer a Georgian citizen and if he returned to Georgia he will face a court of law.