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Saakashvili’s plans after the presidency

By Messenger Staff
Friday, November 8
On November 17th President Mikheil Saakashvili’s second and last term as president expires.

Even though some argued that his term should have expired in January 2013, Georgia’s new government tolerantly allowed Saakashvili to prolong his presidency for almost a further 10 months.

So, everybody is now wondering what Saakashvili will do after the presidency. Will he remain in politics? In this case, will he run as a MP in a directly elected representative district? Will the government draw a case against him and will he be arrested and charged with certain crimes?

According to constitutional amendments adopted in 2010, it was clear to many analysts that Saakashvili was preparing to become prime minister once his second term as president expired. He neither confirmed nor denied this claim. However, the parliamentary elections last year derailed Saakashvili’s plans on becoming PM.

Saakashvili once claimed he wanted to establish a school in Kakheti for teaching and promoting viticulture. While meeting with President Obama, he said he wanted to open a library and school in Tbilisi. During his recent visits abroad, Saakashvili stated that he was buying books for this library. He also might deliver lectures at different universities worldwide, a lucrative field to enter.

At the last congress of the United National Movement (UNM) Saakashvili was re-elected as the chairperson of the party. He is supported by his UNM party members and many observers think that Saakashvili will definitely try to stay involved in politics.

However, there is a possibility that the Georgian Dream administration will try bring a case against Saakashvili as soon as his immunity as president expires. Saakashvili’s personal friends, which he has many of, have urged the Georgian government not to launch a case against Saakashvili because it will be viewed very negatively in the West.

However, there are many political figures in Georgia who think nobody is above the law and that the soon to be former president should answer for his supposed crimes. There is certainly evidence that Saakashvili has personally committed crimes. Exceeding presidential powers, unnecessary expenditure of state money, covering personal expenses from the presidential fund and losing territories and some other facts are among the charges that could be brought against him.

Some have suggested going so far as to ban the UNM and disqualify its members from political activities.

Saakashvili wants to prolong his immunity and there is a possibility that he could run for a parliamentary seat provided that a current MP resigns. The UNM is quite satisfied with its performance in the recent presidential election-UNM candidate Davit Bakradze received 21% of the vote.

Everything will become clear in just 10 days when the new president comes into office.