Outgoing President Saakashvili said after exit polls gave outright victory to GD’s presidential candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili in Sunday’s vote that “Georgia elected a new president” and addressing those who “are unhappy” with these results said that any kind of “retreat is temporary.”
“Presidential election was held today. Georgia elected a new president. I want to thank all those voters, who participated in these elections, because all the elections, regardless of their results, serve further democratic development in our country and ultimately, democracy is a major foundation of our political system, which we are very proud of,” Saakashvili said in a televised address.
“Georgian voters have spoken and I want to tell everyone who is unhappy with these results – we should all respect the majority’s opinion because the majority resolves such issues in a democracy.”
“Regardless of how much we may agree or oppose this decision, that’s the rule of democracy. We all respect the law and the opinions of the majority participating in the elections.”
“At the same time, I understand that very many people are disappointed in Georgia. We, as well as the majority, should always listen to the minority’s opinion.”
“Voter turnout was much lower [in the October 27 presidential election – 46.6%] compared to many previous elections and it is an important sign that it is necessary to be constantly in dialogue with our people,” said Saakashvili.
“The rights of all groups, each voter or those persons, who did not come to the elections, should be protected and their opinions should be respected.”
“I will not hide that I believe the developments over the past one year as well as today’s developments in Georgia and the results stemming from these developments represent a serious setback for Georgia, for its progress and future perspectives.”
“But at the same time, I am deeply convinced that in the condition when Georgia is irreversibly heading towards its natural environment – Europe, in the conditions when Georgian voters firmly support this course, in the conditions when a new generation of our compatriots has been grown up over the recent years, when a great group of young people has emerged, who keeps step with the new realities, and generally, we as the society, people of any age, have gained a new experience, in the end the forces of darkness and regress will fail to prevail and will fail to gain a foothold in Georgia. All the difficulties are temporary and we will continue to move forward.”
“We should all respect the election results,” Saakashvili continued. “Again, I want to tell the people, who do not like these results and whom I understand very well, I want to tell everyone – don’t give up; any kind of retreat is temporary; based on those traditions, which we created in last 10 years and which cannot be eradicated by anything, Georgia has a very good future, we will overcome all the difficulties, we will compensate the lost time and we will continue moving towards better future.”