In a video address to voters on the eve of the parliamentary elections, Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, who is now governor of Odessa region in Ukraine, said that the election victory of the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) ruling party in Saturday’s vote would pose threat to the existence of the Georgian state.
He said in a video posted on his Facebook page on October 7, that Georgia has never faced such an important choice before.
“We should understand that if [ex-PM and founder of GDDG party Bidzina] Ivanishvili stays [in power], even existence of the Georgian state would be called into question and Georgia would face the threat of disappearance from the world map,” Saakashvili said.
“Like [illusionist] David Copperfield, Ivanishvili made Georgia disappear from international radars. We should not let it happen… You see how [Georgian currency] lari is depreciating; if they [the present government] stay for few more months, our national currency will completely collapse, which will be then followed by many other negative consequences,” Saakashvili said.
“We are not making an ordinary choice tomorrow. We have to choose between darkness and light, Georgia’s existence and disappearance, statehood and complete collapse. I pin my hopes on you my compatriots as never before,” he said.
“All the talk that Ivanishvili will rig the ballot is utter nonsense; this man has failed in everything… He is completely bankrupted… We have a huge experience how to prevent ballot rigging and how to defend your votes,” Saakashvili said.
“Tomorrow Georgia will declare that it deserves to be a state and not a toy of a Russian oligarch… Tomorrow Georgia will say that it no longer wants incapable government, which drags us to the past,” he said.
He also said the UNM opposition party, he founded more than a decade ago and which he chaired before losing Georgian citizenship late last year, has been “almost entirely” reshuffled and “renewed”.
“I want to tell the incumbent government, which tomorrow will become political opposition – do not be afraid of anything; our goal is not persecution and looking back in the past,” Saakashvili said.