Ex-President, Ukrainian citizen Saakashvili says ‘only one party-UNM will win elections’, ‘I’m involved in selection of candidates’

  • The third President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili is no longer a citizen of Georgia. Photo: Reuters. 

Agenda.ge, 3 Aug 2020 - 17:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, who is now a citizen of Ukraine and chairs the executive committee of the Ukrainian National Reforms Council, says that only the United National Movement and not any other opposition parties in Georgia is capable of winning the upcoming parliamentary elections in October and that ‘the UNM will definitely win.’ 

Saakashvili told opposition-minded TV channel Mtavari Arkhi that ‘I am actively involved in negotiations for the selection of majoritarian candidates in the regions.’ 

Now the UNM must do the job the united opposition bloc should have done - the UNM must win the elections alone and this will definitely happen,” Saakashvili said, adding that the opposition’s failure to nominate joint majoritarian candidates in the regions could also be related to the UNM’s ‘high chances’ to win the elections individually. 

Saakashvili says that nominating joint opposition candidates for the elections was his idea and welcomed the opposition’s decision to present joint majoritarian candidates in six of eight majoritarian constituencies in the capital city. 

Tbilisi is a specific issue. I am sure that the UNM candidates will win their constituencies in the capital. Currently the UNM is capable of winning all the constituencies around the country. Very serious candidates, who refused to join us earlier, are ready to participate in the elections with the name of the UNM. The other opposition parties are standing far behind the UNM,” Saakashvili said. 

Two UNM members, Nika Melia (Right, at the bottom) and Levan Khabeishvili (In the middle, at the bottom) will run for Tbilisi constituencies. 

Saakashvili stated that ‘I am involved in the negotiations (with the candidates), if I were not sure in the victory, I would not have been involved.’ 

The Georgian government says that Saakashvili, who is wanted for several charges in Georgia, ‘continues interfering in Georgian political and election issues.’ 

Earlier this year the Ukrainian ambassador to Georgia was summoned to the Georgian Foreign Ministry because of Saakashvili’s statements about the upcoming elections.

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani said that Georgia expected Saakashvili to continue interfering in Georgia’s internal issues and had warned Ukraine to this effect. 

Today the European Georgia opposition party nominated 14 of 22 majoritarian candidates for regions.

The party said that they had made two suggestions to the UNM to nominate joint candidates. 

The European Georgia says that the first offer was about the 11/8 system, which allowed the UNM to nominate its candidates in all big cities of Georgia, while the party should have supported the candidates of the united opposition bloc in the remaining eight constituencies. 

The Georgian Foreign Ministry had stated that Saakashvili continues to interfere in Georgian political issues. Photo: Foreign Ministry press office. 

The second option allowed the UNM to nominate its candidates in eight big cities and instead the party should have supported the candidates of the European Georgia party in four other constituencies. 

However, the UNM decided to nominate individual majoritarian candidates, the European Georgia opposition party said. 

The elections in the autumn will be held in a different manner from preceding elections, with 120 MPs elected per the party-list based electoral system and the remaining 30 per the majoritarian electoral system. 

The ruling Georgian Dream party has already nominated all 30 of its majoritarian candidates for the upcoming elections, both for the eight constituencies of the capital Tbilisi and the regions.