President Saakashvili said on February 17, that “no matter how much Russian money” would be used on attempts to throw Georgia back into the past, people would anyway make choice in favor of “progress” and “future”.
Invoking this metaphor of “past” – which Saakashvili refers to his opponents he never directly specifies – versus “future” and “progress” has become kind of a staple of his campaign-style addresses, which the President has made for multiple times in recent months while opening or visiting newly built hospitals in provinces throughout the country.
Speaking to locals in Tsageri, western Georgia, outside the newly built hospital, Saakashvili said on February 17, that Georgia was now “moving forward”, but there were some people “who are very much unhappy with that” and with “rebuilding process”.
“These are the people who at various times were united under various leaders and these are same old faces… politically mummified people, who have darkened Georgia and who have been robbing Georgia for years in the past,” Saakashvili said.
“They do not like the Georgian people in general; the large part of people still remains in hardship, so they have put forth a new slogan according to which poor person have nothing to do in politics,” Saakashvili said.
He was apparently referring to remarks by a lawyer Archil Kbilashvili, a member of billionaire-turned-politician Bidzina Ivanishvili’s newly unveiled team, who said during the presentation of Ivanishvili’s planned party’s initiative group on February 15, that only those who have “a proper material environment” should go into politics. “I believe, that it is dangerous for the society when someone, who has nothing, goes into politics,” Kbilashvili said.
“But these people,” Saakashvili said, “miss the point.”
“No matter how much Russian money they will take as a weapon, no matter what tricks they will resort to, no matter how many newspapers they will buy, no matter how many lies they will say, our people is very wise and our people already knows the taste of progress and no one wants to go back into the past,” he said.
“When there is a choice between past and future… the choice will always be made in favor of future, because we see the progress,” Saakashvili said.
Speaking at the presentation of his political team on February 15, Bidzina Ivanishvili said, that instead of “swearing” and throwing “epithets” like “mummies” and “forces of darkness” at opponents, President Saakashvili should better “show himself with actions.”
Ivanishvili also said that the President was “detached from reality”, having “an illusion” that people would support him in the elections.
“Saakashvili desperately tries to convince population of Georgia, as well as Europe, that he is building a democracy, but his actions are resonating old times, probably those two hundred years ago,” Ivanishvili said.