On October 17th President Mikheil Saakashvili delivered a speech at the European People’s Party (EPP) Congress where he talked about the recent parliamentary elections in Georgia, which his United National Movement (UNM) lost.
Saakashvili’s new slogan: More Europe!
By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 19
“Of course, we would have preferred the outcome of these elections to be slightly different but people who aim at building a democracy should expect to be successful one day, unsuccessful another day, and look to be successful the next day. So this has just happened to us.” the President stated.
Saakashvili emphasized that the very fact that Georgia held democratic and fair elections is a testament to the country’s success. In part of his speech the Georgian President referred to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin:
“I heard that our neighbor to the north was very happy and indeed what I heard was that Vladimir Putin, whose troops occupy 20 percent of my territory, said he was extensively commending our elections, he was waiting for our elections, he was happy with the outcomes of our elections. Well, I can tell him that his happiness is premature because the very precedent that a government on his border has changed through elections, through a free and fair democratic process, is not good news for anybody who would like to have authoritarian rule kept in their own countries. From that point of view Georgia has set a very important precedent.” Saakashvili stated.
Talking about the state of democracy in his country, Saakashvili stressed that true democracy has yet to take shape in Georgia:
“Now, every democracy is a process, we say we made an important step in democracy, but we cannot say we have a full democracy unless there is another election after this, unless there are at least two changes of power in this way. We’ve seen many people coming in during fair elections and forgetting to leave. So now it’s up to all of us. We’ve made the first step, but to keep this thing intact we need you. We need your persistent support and we need your persistent monitoring.” Saakashvili declared.
At the end of his speech Georgia’s President unveiled the new slogan “more Europe” and thanked EPP members for their support and encouragement. President called on them to stay with Georgia as his country needs their help if it is to join NATO and the EU.
“I want you to stay firm, I want you to stay on our side. We want your help with NATO. Because of a division several years ago, we failed to get a membership action plan. We need it now, because of the new government. We told the new government that we will help them in every way we can, and we need you to keep Georgian democracy going,” Saakashvili said.