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2013: whereabouts of Georgia and Saakashvili

By Messenger Staff
Friday, January 28
President Saakashvili’s live appearance in TV for almost three hours some days ago prompted widespread speculation. One of the most crucial questions asked to the President concerned his future plans. The Georgian people have a feeling that Saakashvili definitely plans to become PM after his presidential term expires and that the Georgian constitution was amended to accommodate these plans: giving the PM extra powers. The President did not answer this question directly; therefore his future plans became no clearer.

On the question of whether he plans to become PM, Saakashvili answered that, for him, his prime interest is where the country will be in 2013. "I urge everyone to put his country above himself and all of us should rescue the country." If we look at Georgia after it regained independence in the beginning of the 90s, we can conclude that there were not many politicians who put the country’s interest above their own ones, if any at all.

Saakashvili himself does not respect his political opponents as such, however they also think of him in the same way. Analyst Paata Zakareishvili thinks that Saakashvili wants to stay in power and he does not care for the rest… “He needs to stay in power and this is essential.”

According to certain opinions actively disseminated by the opposition, the west will be against Saakashvili’s stay in power after 2013. Where this opinion comes from, we cannot trace but the opposition stubbornly believes it, claiming that this would be a positive precedent from the point of view of democratic development as well as for regulating relations with Russia as the Kremlin officials refuse to negotiate with Saakashvili. But the reality is that it looks like President Saakashvili does not even consider going anywhere. Moreover, after the lost war to Russia in 2008 he has considerably strengthened his position in the country. The President and his government use every chance to give more credibility to the President’s position in Georgia. Recent meetings with US president Obama was also of this character. Indirectly, it could be proving that the US accepts Saakashvili as a President and presumably welcomes him as a future PM, considering this would be the ‘will of the Georgian population.’ The opposition is however skeptical about this meeting in particular, claiming that this was not an official visit. Some analysts are more reserved thinking that it is premature to forecast with any certainty as to what will happen in 2013. Anything could happen which could not be foreseen and, indeed, President Saakashvili’s future will depend on where the country will be in 2013. There are too many problems in front of the country and some serious ones have been created during Saakashvili’s administration in power. So, he has to solve some if not all of them.