Georgian Defence Minister Juansher Burchuladze has responded to former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s appeal to the country’s army ‘to actively participate' in the upcoming October 2 municipal elections and stated that Saakashvili’s statement aims at discrediting and politicising the Georgian army.
Burchuladze says that Saakashvili’s accusations regarding the nepotism in transferring apartments in Tbilisi to 500 servicemen are ‘a lie and an absurdity.’
The Defence Minister (Burchuladze) reminded Mikheil Saakashvili of the commitment he made to the military during his rule back in 2007 regarding providing servicemen with apartments, which was fulfilled under the current government,” the ministry’s statement reads.
The third Georgian President Saakashvili in his video address to the army, published on his Facebook page says that the founder of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party Bidzina Ivanishvili hates Georgian servicemen, noting that ‘he (Ivanishvili) has done his utmost over the past years to weaken’ the country’s armed forces.
Juansher Burchuladze reminded his opponents of the steps taken in recent years in terms of armament, equipment and social conditions in the Georgian defence forces, which are in line with NATO standards...The professionalism of the Georgian military and the high level of training is confirmed by the assessments of international partners,” the Georgian Defence Ministry says.
Saakashvili announced on September 6 that he is going to come back to Georgia for the upcoming elections.
However, the ruling party and the opposition are sceptical that Saakashvili will return to Georgia as this is not the first time promise of his to come back to the country ahead of the elections.
Mikheil Saakashvili who currently chairs the Executive Committee of the Ukrainian National Reforms Council served as Georgia’s third president from 2004 to 2013 and left the country back in 2013 after the GD came to power in 2012.