In a video address to the nation on the eve of the Monday’s parliamentary election, President Saakashvili called on voters to put aside emotions and keep a cool head while casting ballot.
Monday’s polls, he said, “will decide whether we will be able or not to preserve freedom which our [ancestors] fought and sacrificed their lives for.”
“I am confident as never before that neither the invader’s [referring to Russia] unprecedented military build-up on and within our borders, nor the plans by some to thwart electoral process will hinder democracy’s huge victory,” he said in a seven-minute address recorded in Mtskheta on a background of Svetitskhoveli cathedral.
“Our country’s fate is being decided tomorrow… not only for next four years, but for next decades,” he said.
Saakashvili said “epochal” issue was at stake in these elections – “what kind of the country we want to have and whether we want to have the country at all or not.”
“Tomorrow our enemy has the last chance to turn us back from this path of independence,” he said and added that he was sure the Georgian voters would respond in Monday’s polls with taking “a final and decisive step” against this attempt.
“The election campaign and not so clean methods of political struggle made emotions run high in the society, so I request you to make your choice tomorrow not with emotions, but with calm analysis… and cool head,” he said.
“While making a decision, I request you to think where our country was nine years ago and where we are now and where we want to be in next four-five years,” Saakashvili said. “We know that we have many problems… We all should ask ourselves a question: is Georgia a better country now than it was nine years ago?.. Which government will be able to solve problems we are concerned about the best of all?”
“Tomorrow we should decide: do we want the return of corruption? Should we allow crime to return back to our streets?” he said. “This choice is in your hand. Tomorrow is very important for our country, so do not stay at home. Let’s make October 1 be remembered in history as the day when the Georgian people once again confirms its wisdom, sedateness, foresightedness and unconditional loyalty to the homeland.”
“I am sure tomorrow evening we all will be proud of our democracy, our love towards freedom, our firmness and wisdom and proud because we will avert danger for our country,” he said.