The messenger logo

Saakashvili’s presidency coming to an end

By Messenger Staff
Monday, October 14
October 27, 2013, is a crucial date for Georgia. Two major figures in Georgian politics will leave office after this day- President Mikheil Saakashvili and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. Saakashvili is leaving his post unwillingly, whereas, PM Ivanishvili has declared well before being the winner of the parliamentary election that he would become the PM and resign after one year.

However, neither official plans to quit politics altogether. There are different prospects for both of them. The PM can easily move into the civil sector and could enjoy life there monitoring the situation, whereas Saakashvili’s future could become quite troublesome. Many opponents of his regime predict that if he does not leave the country he might end up in prison.

As soon as the new president is inaugurated twenty days after the election, Saakashvili will automatically step down from his position. In case there is a second round in the election, about 20 more days will be added to his term in office. This rule is stipulated by the constitution. Saakashvili’s second presidential term has expired. As for PM Ivanishvili, he can stay in the government as long as he wants to. The only discomfort is his citizenship problem, but the new president, who can handle the issue and grant Ivanishvili Georgia citizenship in the form he wants it to be done, could easily solve it.

Ivanishvili hopes to create a comfortable life for himself by observing from a distance the conduct of officials and introduce certain corrections in case it is needed. As for Saakashvili, he was recently confirmed as the leader of the United National Movement and knowing his character, he will try to gain back his party’s leadership.

Some analysts in Georgia do not predict an easy life for those two politicians. There are already many loud suggestions to draw a case against Saakashvili, charging him with multiple crimes. Starting from losing Georgian territories and ending with violations in the economic sphere of the country, abusing human rights and many other sins. A criminal case could be opened on any of those possible violations.

During his last several appearances, Saakashvili has openly criticized the current government officials. However, he also loudly declares friendly formulas and suggests cooperation with the current government. He wants recently to be as constructive as one could be.

Saakashvili and his team claim after the defeat in the parliamentary elections that a peaceful change of power became possible because of the democratic system the UNM created. They do not mention the multiple cases of manipulation and fraud committed by UNM supporters during the elections. They do not want to acknowledge that the victory of the Ivanishvili-led coalition was determined by the consolidation of the entire population, fed-up with Saakashvili’s regime.

During the last several days of his presidency, it is unlikely that Saakashvili will make any aggressive confrontational steps. He wants to show the West that he is following the democratic rules of the game and his commitment to such a way. As for Ivanishvili, his wish to monitor the country from behind the scenes could be challenged. The mechanism he is leaving behind might not always be running well without any faults.

The tragedy of Shakespeare’s King Lear was in the fact that he thought he would still govern the kingdom after giving up his privileges as the head of the state. This was an illusion. We do not want our PM to become disillusioned like King Lear.