Ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili said that “Russian oligarch” ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili has "scrapped election system" and “classical rules of the game” for change of government no longer apply in Georgia.
Speaking from Brussels Saakashvili said in an interview with Rustavi 2 TV on October 25 that the goal should be to rally “Georgian patriots” not around certain political parties, but around the “idea of saving Georgia”, which, he said, “faces existential threat.”
Earlier on October 25 the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party, which Saakashvili chairs, accused the government of “doing nothing” to challenge Russia’s attempt to “annex” Abkhazia and called for a protest rally in Tbilisi center for November 15. UNM has also called on other opposition parties to join the planned protest rally.
“I’ve often heard from my friends: ‘we will replace them [Georgian Dream ruling coalition] calmly in 2016 [parliamentary elections]’. Ivanishvili has already scrapped the election system. He thinks that he has already privatized Georgia… and he does not give a damn about transferring anything to anyone through elections. It would be a huge naivety to believe that he [Ivanishvili], from his point of view, will allow it happen. I think that now there is a situation wherein no political party can do it separately with classical rules of the game, because there are no longer classical rules of the game in Georgia; there is an attempt in Georgia to establish a provincial dictatorship,” said Saakashvili, who is wanted in Georgia for multiple criminal charges, which he denies as politically motivated..
“Georgia needs salvation and Georgia’s salvation is in its youth, in new movement, new energy. Of course this energy and new actions should be peaceful, because what Russia now wants the most of all in Georgia is violence; what Russians wants the most of all is someone to fire shots in Georgia,” he said.
Later in the same 50-minute long interview, Saakashvili also said that when the people “get mobilized and united like a fist around the idea of democracy and development, the government will be forced to hold elections democratically and freely.” But he also said that “house is already on fire, therefore we should right now force the government to act.”
He said that the only thing left for the people is to speak out, when the government “fails to perform its main functions – providing security and safety to the people” and “protecting our international positions, which is the only instrument available for us for maintaining our territorial integrity.”