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Saakashvili pledges more powers for next parliament

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, May 21
As election campaigning drew to a close yesterday, President Mikheil Saakashvili reiterated his party’s priorities while pledging to increase government accountability to parliament.

In a live televised speech, Saakashvili touted a 50-month government program that he said would turn Georgia into a “Dubai and Singapore of this region.”

The program will see minimum monthly pensions increase to USD 100 next year and an expansion of the recently set-up government cheap credit program, he said.

Saakashvili emphasized the government’s fight against corruption during its first term in office but said that “much more remains” to be done, including tackling poverty and unemployment.

The president also called for unity and order at a time when Georgia faces a “huge evil,” an apparent reference to Russia.

Moscow recently bolstered ties with separatist authorities in Abkhazia and increased its troop presence in the breakaway region.

“Georgia’s ill-wishers are trying to ambush us. They want tomorrow’s election to grow into confrontation and chaos,” he said.

Looking ahead, Saakashvili pledged to submit his cabinet for a vote of confidence in the new parliament, underlining that the constitution does not require him to do so.

“I will work more actively with the parliament to strengthen parliamentary control over the government,” he said.

The president also promised a “new form of cooperation” that will see him report to parliament every three months to answer any questions MPs put to him and said he would meet frequently with “even the smallest factions.”