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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Tuesday, January 15
“Saakashvili’s presidency should have ended on January 5!”

In an interview with Asaval-Dasavali, former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze said the meeting with the US Ambassador Richard Norland made him feel calmer. Hesitating to share all the details of their “long talk" Shevardnadze said they spoke about Georgia's past and the current situation in the country. “I became sure that the US Ambassador and correspondingly, the US administration, respect the choice the Georgian people made on October 1st,” Shevardnadze told Asaval-Dasavali.

Shevardnadze said the West has stopped criticizing the new Georgian government “as everyone realized that no one can resist the will of people.”

“Georgia has started a new life… without Saakashvili’s regime of fear, violence, injustice and poverty. 2013 is the beginning of new Georgia!” said the former Georgian President. He said that Saakashvili’s team members do not even support him.

According to Shevardnadze, the Georgian people already do not consider Saakashvili as their president. He said although his second term should have expired on January 5 of 2013, Saakashvili prolonged his authority with ten more months through constitutional changes. “I cannot see how a healthily thinking person can hold a rally to support Saakashvili, when the whole country is celebrating the end of his regime?” Shevardnadze wondered. Recollecting his resignation in 2003 through the Rose Revolution, Shevardnadze said he always considered late PM Zurab Zhvania as the president not Saakashvili.

Shevardnadze is against pardoning Saakashvili’s regime. He said they should pay for every crime including the murder of Zhvania. Despite PM Ivanishvili’s humanity Shevardnadze thinks it is public will to punish criminals, this is why PM has to neglect Saakashvili's “ultimatums” and act according to the country’s interests.

Can the Law on Amnesty result in increase of crime in the country?

Over 3,000 inmates are expected to leave the penitentiary facilities as Parliamentary Chairman Davit Usupashvili signed the Law on Amnesty. President Mikheil Saakashvili forecasts security problems in the country. However, Minister of Internal Affairs Irakli Gharibashvili said he will not allow the worsening of the criminal situation in the country.

“How would you assess the Law on Amnesty? What positive or negative impact can it cause, and what do you think about the possibility of an increase in crime?” Mteli Kvira asked public.

Member of Kartuli Khmebi (Georgian Voices) Gia Tchirakadze thinks that the release of inmates will not increase the level of crime in Georgia. Positively estimating the issue, he said the Law on Amnesty made people feel easier.

According to composer Gia Matcharashvili the law may increase the level of crime only in cases of releasing murderers and bandits who would continue the same activities. Matcharahsvili said he has often heard people complaining that those committing small crimes have long sentences instead of being released on bail. “I would positively assess the law if such people are released, as no one is perfect. However, if serious criminals will leave the jails it would be very bad [for the country],” he said, doubting that “bad people” can ever improve. “There are no jobs in our country, how can they live? They will still have to rob others and return to jails,” worried the composer.