TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili says the changes his country has been through can not be undone by himself nor anyone else.
He was speaking at the US Institute of Peace on invitation from the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank, to share his experiences with post-revolutionary reforms in light of the Arab uprisings last year.
According to the Atlantic Council website, Saakashvili said the 2011 wave of revolutions and protests has sent a clear message to the international community; that freedom, democracy and accountability matter.
Georgia sent its prime minister Nika Gilauri to Egypt last fall to lecture about carrying through reforms after a revolution. According to the Egyptian Gazette, he praised the Egyptian revolution and said that it has many similarities with the Georgian revolution.
“Our revolution is concerned with fighting corruption, boosting the economy, decreasing debt, improving transparency and attracting more investments,” the PM said, according to the newspaper’s online edition.
In yesterday’s speech, president Saakashvili said that as the people in North Africa and other parts of the world seek to reinvent themselves, they can draw on Georgia’s experiences in democratic transformation.
He touched upon many issues that post-revolutionary governments face, from building democratic institutions to confronting corruption and earning the trust of their citizens.
Saakashvili said these leaders should “ride the wave” of revolutions, and urged that they undertake reforms immediately while popular support is strong.
The opposition in Georgia has been saying throughout the wave of popular protest called the Arab Spring that Saakashvili has more in common with the deposed leaders Mubarak and Gaddafi and called for his removal because of misuse of power and other violations.