|President Saakashvili with wife Sandra Roelofs in a polling station after casting a ballot. Photo: InterPressNews|
President Saakashvili said after casting ballot in Sunday’s local elections that he was confident his ruling National Movement party would win and incumbent mayor Gigi Ugulava re-elected.
He, however, also said that he expected narrower gap between the ruling party and the opposition.
“First of all, I am glad that this election campaign and election day are passing very calmly, without any incidents – some minor [violations] are observed in all countries – but, in my opinion, this is the best organized election ever held in Georgia,” he told journalists.
“It seems that the Central Election Commission has worked very well under conditions of full independence.”
“I want to note with satisfaction that the absolute majority of political parties have demonstrated much more political maturity. They met more frequently with people… and they spoke about more concrete issues, instead of speaking generally on various issues,” he said.
“At the same time, as the chairman of the National Movement I have no doubts and I am sure about the victory of the National Movement in these elections and nobody should get surprised about it. I want to say that the National Movement will keep on winning the elections as long as it is a real movement and does not overgrow into immobility, as long as the country is moving towards the better life,” Saakashvili said.
“These elections should give more faith to business, much more faith to foreign investors in order to invest more money in Georgia in this difficult business atmosphere, to create more jobs, to change our country for better. The situation has much changed in the capital since November-December 2007 when we had to take very strict measures against an open attempt of coup and I am sure that Gigi Ugulava and the National Movement will win the elections in the capital,” he said.
He also said that Georgia’s 20% remains under occupation where voters “have no chance to express their free will.”
Asked why he thought that opposition has no chance to win, Saakashvili responded: “I am not saying that it has no chance to win. What I am saying is that I believe the National Movement will win in these elections, because the National Movement has demonstrated it could offer effective course [to the voters].”
“At the same time I see that, probably, the gap [in race between opposition and the ruling party] will be narrowed, because major part of the opposition has showed political maturity,” he said.
He also said that those parties “standing on foreign countries platform will not get much from these elections”.