Saakashvili Claims Ivanishvili Threatened Him, Bites Back

Mikheil Saakashvili has weighed in on the candidacy of Independent MP Salome Zurabishvili for president. Zurabishvili is running independently, but she is widely assumed to have the implicit support of the ruling Georgian Dream Party and is currently considered the front runner.

The former president of Georgia wrote a lengthy message on his Facebook page yesterday,

“Salome Zurabishvili’s candidacy has already failed thanks to the efforts of Georgian society. Now Ivanishvili is hysterically searching for another candidate to offer up...whoever they nominate will lose against the power of society!

Almost all of the newly appointed governors are law enforcers, put in office by the State Security Service, which indicates that Ivanishvili is preparing for massive [election] fraud and to ignore the will of the people. Also, regarding my arrival [to Georgia] ... Yesterday he [some unknown person] called our mutual friend in America and threatened me to not even think about returning to Georgia. My acquaintance knows the person who called by the name that person is known in Russia – Boris. So, Borya [a well-known nickname for Bidzina Ivanishvili], I am not afraid of your threats. I will definitely be visiting you, and I will check your blood pressure. I will prescribe some treatment, and the people will take care of you as well.

Switching out Gogashvili won’t save you.


Saakashvili’s post garnered significant response – 963 reactions, 198 comments, and 166 shares on Facebook.

Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze said yesterday that Georgian Dream is still considering nominating their own candidate, who would run against Zurabishvili.

“There are many worthy candidates...who will have a decent result without any problems in any election. We have repeatedly explained our approach and we would like to reiterate that we are following the events, we are watching the candidates, who will register and we will make our decision later. There is not just communication, but discussions within the team," Bakhtadze explained.

Zurabishvili responded, “I hope [Georgian Dream] will support me. I am collecting signatures and I will be a presidential candidate. As for the discussions within Georgian Dream, we all know that the deadline for making the final decision is the 8th of September. Let’s wait and see what they will decide. I think nothing has changed. We know that there were people who wanted to have an internal candidate."

Saakashvili is the honorary chairman of the political party United National Movement (UNM). UNM has nominated their own candidate for president - former Minister of Foreign Affairs Grigol Vashadze. 


By Samantha Guthrie


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22 August 2018 18:24