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Saakashvili and the Vilnius Summit

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, July 4
President Saakashvili has prolonged his term of presidency to the last day of October, which has created a lot of controversy within Georgian political circles. This decision has also raised the question of whether Saakashvili intends to represent Georgia at the Vilnius Summit scheduled for the end of November.

According to Georgian legislation, the term of the new president comes into force after the inauguration ceremony which should be held the third week from the date of the Presidential Election. Thus, it should be the country’s new president representing Georgia at any upcoming gatherings– including the Vilnius Summit.

However, two options still remain for Saakashvili to prolong his term. The first is if there are doubts concerning the final protocol of the elections and discussions are transferred to the courts and causing delays; while the second option would be the case of having to hold a second round of elections.

According to preliminary observations, the Georgian Dream candidate, Giorgi Margvelashvili, is leading the race. However, there are some candidates such as the leader of the Democratic Movement – United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze; leader of the Labor Party, Shalva Natelashvili and United National Movement (UNM) member, Davit Bakradz. So if these candidates manage to collect more than 50% of the votes together, a second round of elections will become necessary, this is because the president is elected in Georgia with 50 +1% of the votes.

Analysts only admit that this scenario is only theoretically possible.

As such, one might ask– even if Saakashvili manages to attend the Vilnius Summit as President, what will that give him?

Well, some analysts believe that Saakashvili will try to attend the Summit to finally expose his position towards the current Georgian government and criticize them. He will try to organize an extra PR show praising his policy and criticizing the activities of the Georgian Dream.

There are many expectations in Georgia for the upcoming Vilnius Summit. The country expects an agreement between Georgia and the EU to be signed and finalized and of course any kind of negative information about Georgia would make any decision very sensitive. Theoretically Saakashvili can spoil something and that would be dramatic.