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Outgoing president talks about his future plans

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Friday, November 8
Outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili will presumably not attend the Vilnius Summit scheduled for November 28th-29th. According to Saakashvili, this is the new president's opportunity and not his function any more. “Plus the new government is deciding who will go to the summit.” Saakashvili said after the meeting with the diplomatic corps at the presidential residence in Avlabari on November 6th.

Saakashvili also said that he has not yet decided whether to attend the inauguration ceremony of president-elect Giorgi Margvelashvili. However, he said he has a number of preconditions with regard to the government’s proposal.

Saakashvili said the inauguration, constitution and president's palace are state institutions. “We have not yet seen any respect towards these institutions.” he said.

Saakashvili said many incoming U.S. Presidents disgusted their predecessors but no outgoing Presidents abolished the White House because of this. “If the new president and the government show respect towards these institutions then I will not have any grounds to refuse their proposal.” Saakashvili said stressing that the presidential palace is a historical place and its function must be maintained. “It belongs to the Georgian people,” he added.

Calling the recent elections “interesting and important,” Saaakshvili said it was evidence that a true two party political system has been established in Georgia. He said the elections also showed a peaceful transfer of power.

“It should be noted that despite the fact that 25,000 people were questioned and prominent leaders arrested, the former ruling party has not disappeared. There also was the unprecedented period of cohabitation. It was amazing for Georgia,” he told representatives of the diplomatic corps.

“You know, the election turnout was very low. This means that the winning candidate received approximately less than a third of the total electorate's vote. It's a sign that the government needs to pay more attention and to communicate with all levels of society." Saakashvili said.

Saakashvili cautioned that if the government continues its policies it will face serious problems.

Wishing success to the newly elected president and the government, Saakashvili said they must focus on the future and make Georgia the best it can be.

“For example, we were able to move Georgia from 137 to 8th place in the world business rankings. I hope they will be able to move Georgia into 1st place.” Saakashvili said.

Saakashvili also talked about his future plans after he leaves office. “Everyone knows that I cannot sit in one place without work, I will help with advising my party and the government if it wants it. But for now, Georgians will get a little respite from me." Saakashvili said.