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A New Year message from Georgia's three leading public figures

By Messenger Staff
Friday, January 4
The year of 2013 was met by Georgia's television stations in different ways. There were three official texts for the New Year celebration coming from Patriarch of all Georgia Ilia II, President Mikheil Saakashvili and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. Each station transmitted these welcoming speeches in a different sequence. The Patriarch of Georgia congratulated the Georgian people and asked them for unity and love of the nation, whereas the President and the PM had essentially different approaches.

The Georgian PMs so far did not congratulate Georgian nation on the New Year. Though this year Bidzina Ivanishvili congratulated nation with a short welcoming speech focused on the welfare of the Georgian people, wishing them fulfillment of their dreams in the coming New Year.

President Saakashvili’s appearance on the TV was not congratulatory, but rather an official political statement. It was divided into roughly two parts: the first was criticism of the current political situation and leadership; the second part was the presentation of a five point plan which according to the president would rescue the country from the crisis.

Generally speaking, after the shocking electoral defeat the United National Movement suffered on October 1, the president and his team are now recovering. After a pause in his rehabilitation attempts of President Saakashvili showing Georgia’s western friends that he is following their advice, he has regained his confidence and has become aggressive, straightforward and sometimes rude.

According to Saakashvili the change of government in Georgia was the achievement of his administration. He ignores the fact that it was not his achievement, but an achievement of the Georgian people. It looks like Saakashvili is returning back to his usual manner of being the patron of the nation trying to prove to the people that he is the smartest, the wisest and bravest of all.

One should have no objections if anyone could prove those merits and if he is honest and devoted. The first challenge is approaching – his second term of his five-year presidency is coming to an end on January 20. (That day five years ago he was inaugurated)

The Georgian Constitution states that presidents are elected for five-year terms, so logically he would resign for good, relinquish his powers temporality to the chairman of the parliament and the next elections will be held in October of 2013. Let us see how he conducts himself in the current situation. Will his position be an example of addressing the nation's needs, for peace and stability? Or is this another reflection of hypocrisy and demagogy?