President Saakashvili said in an interview with the New York Times it was “very sad” that he had no major competitor from the opposition.
“If I had been in the opposition, I would have destroyed this government in three months,” he said. Asked how, Saakashvili responded: “I know how to do it, but I don’t want to teach them how to do it.”
He also said that strengthening of democratic institutions was his priority in his second term in office.
When asked how he will be remembered after his term in office expires, Saakashvili responded: “I think somebody who made Georgia modern European state.”
“In last five years we made Georgia a modern state; for the next five years we should make it a modern society – 100% modern society and institutionalize the state. We’ve become modern state based less on institutions and more on personalities; now we should make a modern society based on rule of law and institutions,” Saakashvili said.
He also told the NY Times that recently he had been less attracted to the model of David the Builder, the King who reunited Georgia in the twelfth century. He said that he was more attracted to the model of George Washington, who, he said, “could have been a king, but instead chose to give up power, and become a democracy.”
“It’s something I’m thinking about more and more,” he said. “George Washington.”
When first elected in 2004, Saakashvili took a spiritual oath at the tomb of Davit the Builder in the Gelati Cathedral in western Georgia and in 2008, when elected for second term in office, Saakashvili took a spiritual oath in the Church of Bagrat III – regarded as the first monarch of the united Georgia in the early eleventh century.