- New regulations for party funding are ‘very good’;
- ‘Main opposition forces come from the past’;
- ‘I hope, new opposition forces will emerge’;
- ‘National Movement stands above my personality’;
- Says to complete EU free trade talks before the end of his presidency;
President Saakashvili said that “main” opposition forces in Georgia “come from the past” and expressed hope that new ones would emerge to offer “better vision” to the society.
“The main forces, which today oppose us, are still those who come from the past, kind of a neo-Shevardnadze wing, which is being created on the one hand and on the other hand those people, who failed to find place in modern conditions. Of course I would be happy if opposition forces – new ones not discredited by their past, which I hope will emerge – will offer their better vision to the society,” Saakashvili said without naming any specific party.
He was speaking in an interview which he gave jointly with President of the European People's Party Wilfried Martens to Imedi television station in Batumi and which was aired on December 20.
Saakashvili said there were all the conditions in order to go through “parliamentary elections in October of next year normally” and to avoid “the worst” and “continue building of institutions.”
He said that institutionally political parties should be strong enough to be “above personalities”. Referring to his ruling party Saakashvili said: “This party stands above my personality” and added that the most important was to keep continuity of “reformist, pro-European” vision focused on the future and “the Georgian miracle.” He also added that the ruling party would require “new blood”.
Saakashvili also hailed passing with its first reading new regulations for party funding as a “very good system”, saying that it was done based on recommendations from the Council of Europe’s Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO). One of the key provisions of the new regulations is banning legal entities, involving business organizations, to fund political parties.
Saakashvili said that the new regulations would prevent attempts to derail Georgia’s development “with money, especially brought in by invaders.”
He also said that he was “relieved” with the decision to drop plans about increasing number of lawmakers in the next Parliament from current 150 to 190. He said he was always against of increasing number of MPs.
In the same televised interview Saakashvili also hailed launch of talks on deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union and said it was his plan to complete those negotiations before the end of his second and final presidential term by in autumn, 2013.