President Saakashvili said on June 12 that the new constitution "will not be tailored on personalities" and his goal was not staying in power, but securing continuation of reforms launched by the current leadership.
The state commission on constitutional reform endorsed on May 11 a basic draft of the constitution, which envisages giving more powers to PM at the expense of the President. The draft, which has yet to be endorsed by the Parliament - no formal deadlines are set when it should happen and the document is still the initial draft, which may undergo further amendments - triggered lots of speculation recently that Saakashvili was paving way for remaining in power after expiration of his presidential term by eying PM's post. These speculation were further fueled by Saakashvili remarks in an interview with the French daily Le Monde in which he said, that he had thought of becoming PM, but “too many uncertainties remain for now.”
"With the local elections over, now a new issue is being debated - what will happen in 2013," Saakashvili said while speaking at Kutaisi-based School of Public Administration.
He said that some already started questioning whether it would be possible "not to see this horrible Saakashvili any more from 2013?.
"I want to tell you that we will never be Bantustan where constitution and laws are tailored on personalities. The constitutional model, which will be created in Georgia, will be democratic, European and the best one. It means that maximum possible number of people will be able to participate in the process of country's governing, regardless of where do they live and regardless of thier origins," he said.
"Of course many new leaders will emerge; of course Georgia will have a new President; of course Georgia will have maximally representative government and for sure it will be the government, which will represent the interests of the Georgian people and which will be under the Georgian people's control."
"Who will be these people [in the government]? Of course I wish the reformers' team to continue its work, so that not to hinder these reforms. But at the same time I wish these reforms to be accepted by maximally large number of political parties" in order to secure continuation of reforms even in case they come into the government, Saakashvili said.
"My goal is not to keep myself or any of my allies in the politics - God saves us from that. Our goal is to maintain these reforms," he said. }We have proved that this country belongs not to personalities like Shevardnadze, Saakashvili... It belongs to us all."
He also said that Georgia major goal was "to develop fast", as moving forward "slowly" would not be enough to strengthen the country.
"The country faces serious challenges and threats. We have managed to create something which is different from everything that is around us [in Georgia's neighborhood] and for that reason we face even more threats - we have established modern statehood for the first time in many hundreds of years in the Caucasus," Saakashvili said.