President Saakashvili said he was unhappy with Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze’s decision not to seek reelection in the new parliament.
Below is Saakashvili statement aired by the Georgian TV stations:
"You know that by this evening Nino Burjanadze decided not to be part of this [ruling National Movement’s] party list. I understand why she has decided it and of course I am not satisfied with this decision of hers.
I want to tell you that Nino is very, very important person for me. She is Georgia’s patriot; we have been standing together for many years. She is the person, who in the most difficult times – for example last November when the country was engulfed in the sharp political crisis – stood firm and twice performed the presidential duties in very difficult times and secured stable and peaceful transition. This is the person, who is a symbol of stability, peace, political intellect and dignity for me.
Despite her decision, she is and will remain one of the greatest political figures of Georgia. Despite her decision to temporarily quit the politics – she will continue performing duties of the parliamentary chairperson in this transition period before the election of new parliament – I hope she will return back to active politics and I am sure she will remain one of the most important figures for a long time.
The National Movement is not only Saakashvili, Burjanadze, or lawmakers and ministers; this is a nation-wide people’s movement, which was behind the Rose Revolution, which has carried out very difficult and painful reforms – not always without mistakes – with its shortcomings, but which [the reforms] turned Georgia into a real state.
This [National Movement] movement should remain the people’s movement, which is not only based on personalities. This is not President Saakashvili’s party. This is the party of its members and of its supporters.
We have accepted the major demand of our society – very radical reshuffle of the party-list – and I want to say that more than three-fourth of the party-list, which we have submitted for the upcoming parliamentary election, consists of new faces. These are those people who have never been affiliated with the politics in recent years.
Davit Bakradze, the Georgia’s foreign minister, leads the party-list. This is a very serious, independent figure, who is not a party activist with his background – by the way he became a lawmaker [in 2004] with the recommendation of Nino Burjanadze. Second in the party-list [of MP candidates] is Koba Subeliani [the state minister for refugees and accommodation] – a person who has no big political experience; although he is a prominent figure, but not a political one. There are many young people [in the party-list], but there are also many elderly people."