Saakashvili on his 54th birthday: my choice is simple - freedom or death

Former president Mikheil Saakashvili was arrested in Tbilisi on October 1, a day before Georgian municipal elections. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 21 Dec 2021 - 15:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

Imprisoned former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili stated on his 54th birthday today in Gori military hospital that he returned to Georgia after eight years of political exile because the country ‘stopped development,’ and that he is ready to die if Georgia ‘is not freed’ from its current leadership. 

Saakashvili’s long Facebook post comes ahead of the opposition’s rally in central Tbilisi today at 18:00, where demonstrators will demand the release of the third president, who now holds Ukrainian citizenship. 

In addition to his recent statement that ‘reconciliation (of former and current authorities) is in everyone’s interests,’ Saakashvili has encouraged the public to take to the streets ‘to make the current government accept a dialogue (with the opposition) and early parliamentary elections.’ 

He reiterated that he was imprisoned because he ‘created a modern Georgian state, built new cities, made Georgia an international player and opposed the Russian occupiers.’ 

Saakashvili claimed that Georgia has lost more territories under the Georgian Dream leadership than in the Russia-Georgia 2008 war. 

He has accused the current government of taking anti-western steps and ‘pushing the country to Russia.’ 

The Euro-Atlantic course has no alternative. Now Georgia is going nowhere, so it is moving to Russia. Russia has its spies in our law enforcement agencies, in all state bodies and even in the church,” Saakashvili said.

He stated that Georgia should have a coalition parliament and all laws therein should be adopted in accordance with European standards. 

Saakashvili said that judges invited from the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Estonia should replace Georgian judges in the country’s Supreme Court for at least five years to ‘end the running of the court by a clan of judges.’ 

He also said that strong self-governments are necessary and that all elections should be held electronically. 

A new airport in Shiraki valley (in eastern Georgia) is necessary and a developed naval infrastructure to achieve the deployment of US and NATO troops in the country,” Saakashvili said. 

Saakashvili was convicted in Georgia in absentia for abuse of power in 2018 and was sentenced to six years in prison. 

He has also been charged with five other offenses.