President Saakashvili said that the October 1 parliamentary elections will be “freest” and “the most transparent” ever held in Georgia.
Standing alongside NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, at a joint news conference in Tbilisi on September 6, Saakashvili said that despite of “attempts to meddle from outside” the elections would be held with observance of “all the principles of democracy.”
“We will hold the freest and the most transparent elections in Georgia’s post-independence history with presence of the largest number of observers and I am sure that the Georgian people will make the choice that serves our Euro-Atlantic integration, strengthening of our freedom and [the choice] that will not allow external forces to meddle in Georgia’s internal politics and [to meddle] in determining Georgia’s choice,” Saakashvili said.
“No one will be able to turn Georgia backwards and no one will be able to return Georgia back into corruption and criminality,” he said.
At the news conference he was asked if he was expecting any post-election escalation of a polarized political situation in the country; the question was asked in the context of election results recognition terms, put forth by Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of major opposition coalition Georgian Dream.
“The Georgia people will not let any escalation; all the [public opinion] surveys show it,” Saakashvili responded. “The Georgian people trust in the system; we will secure holding of the elections transparently in presence of maximal number of observers.”
“Of course there have always been some radicals, there have always been attempts from outside to meddle and we are not seeing anything new, but no one should have any illusion; I have no doubt that elections will be held with observance of all the principles of democracy and no one should worry about it,” he continued. “It is always possible to buy someone both within and outside Georgia, but like Georgia can never be sold, the democratic world is not for sale either and the truth is also not for sale.”
“The Georgian people, Georgia’s multi-ethnic society will make an absolutely correct choice based on democratic principles and in frames of the law. I am absolutely sure about it,” Saakashvili said.
“We, as the government – now I am speaking not as the [ruling United National Movement] party leader but as the President – will ensure that fundamental democratic values, the rights of every citizen regardless of their views – radical or non-radical – are expressed and protected and eventually common sense will always prevail in Georgia; I am sure about it, because it is in line with our Euro-Atlantic aspirations,” he added.