Georgian PM says ex-President Saakashvili met Russian interests when his party named Vashadze for president

PM  Mamuka Bakhtadze says that Georgian voters will have to make a choice between the past and the future. Photo: Prime Minister’s press office., 14 Nov 2018 - 14:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has stated at a briefing today that former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili met Russian interests when his party, the United National Movement, nominated Grigol Vashadze for president.


Each citizen of Georgia will have to make a principle choice between the totalitarian past and the European future,” Bakhtadze said.


The victory of revanchists [referring to Vashadze and the UNM] means placing of all our democratic achievements under the question mark,” Bakhtadze said.


The statement comes ahead of the presidential election runoff, in which the ruling party supported independent president candidate Salome Zurabishvili and Vashadze will compete, as they received most of the votes in the first round but failed to accumulate mandatory, 51 per cent of votes.


Vashadze, 60, was  born in Tbilisi, who continued his studies in Russia and had served in the soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow for several  years.


Between 1990 and 2008 he was engaged with his private business and lived mostly in Russia and New York.


He returned to Georgia in 2005 and in 2008, under the United National Movement leadership, was appointed as deputy foreign minister and then foreign minister of Georgia.


He had to quit the post in 2012 when the Georgian Dream coalition defeated the nine-year-rule of the United National Movement.

Vashadze’s candidacy was raised by UNM and was supported by nine other opposition parties.


In the first round of elections he received 0.9 percent less votes than Zurabishvili.