TBILISI, DFWatch–President Mikheil Saakashvili, who will leave office in October, says that he doesn’t plan to leave politics, because this would mean running away from the battlefield and letting everything which he has built be ruined.
Saakashvili has served out his second term and is is barred from becoming president again. But according to the constitutional changes passed in 2010 which are coming into force after the presidential election in October, the powers of the president are reduced, while those of the prime minister are increased.
This caused many to suspect that Saakashvili planned to go the same way as Vladimir Putin in Russia and was planning to take over the post as prime minister. This theory remained plausible for a long time, because he never said what he planned to do after he had served out his term as president.
But after losing the parliamentary election in 2012, becoming prime minister was no longer a possibility.
Now, Saakashvili says he was planning to leave politics if he won the election in October, 2012. He said he would never let anyone say that he acted just like Putin. However, he also said that he couldn’t have said this earlier, because such a statement might have become a reason for defeat.
“So there was no plan to fit the constitution to myself. I would never let anyone say that I acted like Putin. The reputation of Georgia is much more than a personal issue for me,” Saakshvili said on Thursday’s talk show on Channel 1.
The president said that if he would hold the post of prime minister this would close the doors of EU and NATO for Georgia forever.
“For years I’ve been building the image of Georgia and how can you imagine me going to the Vilnius summit in November and say ‘hi, I’m the prime minister of Georgia?’ Who would give us possibility to join EU? No one would condemn it, but it would block the way to EU and NATO,” he remarked.
But now he says leaving politics nowadays is same as to leave the battlefield and ruining everything that he has built for such a long time.