Mikheil Saakashvili Plans to Return to Georgia Soon

“I am going to come to Georgia in the coming months, It is no secret,” former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili told Mtavari Arkhi.

He noted that it is up to the Georgian people whether he will be arrested or not.

“I feel good in Ukraine, but when you lose your homeland... Now I'm in Odessa, and every second person I meet in the street asks me to become the Mayor. I’m leading the polls here, people are begging me to become the Mayor, but this is one topic. We must restore statehood in Georgia and stop the process of its destruction. Of course, I am taking part in this process. I am going to arrive in Georgia in the near future,” he said.

When asked if he expected to go to jail, he responded: “It's up to the people. Will they allow Ivanishvili to do it? I, together with the Georgian people, will end Ivanishvili's rule in Georgia. Let politicians stand aside. I am not a politician, I am the creator of the Georgian statehood. I am a patriot. I was not scared to come to Ukraine and I'm not afraid to come to Georgia with my people,” he said, adding that he always fulfills his promises.

Saakashvili was the third President of Georgia for two consecutive terms from 25 January 2004 to 17 November 2013. From May 2015 until November 2016, he was the Governor of Ukraine's Odessa Oblast. He is the founder and former chairman of the United National Movement party.

On 2 October 2012, he admitted his party's defeat in Georgia's parliamentary election against the Georgian Dream coalition led by the tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili.  He was barred by the constitution of Georgia from seeking a third term in the 2013 presidential election, which was won by the Georgian Dream's candidate Giorgi Margvelashvili. Shortly after the election, he left Georgia. He is wanted by Georgia's new government on multiple criminal charges, which he decries as politically motivated.

On 30 May 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko appointed him as Governor of Odessa Oblast (region). He was also granted Ukrainian citizenship and due to restrictions on dual nationality under Georgian law, was stripped of his Georgian citizenship.

On 7 November 2016, Saakashvili resigned as Governor while blaming President Poroshenko personally for enabling corruption in Odessa and in Ukraine overall. Four days later he announced his goal to create a new political party called Movement of New Forces.

On 26 July 2017, he was stripped of his Ukrainian citizenship by Petro Poroshenko, and became a stateless person. On 29 May 2019, he returned to Ukraine after newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky restored his citizenship.

By Ana Dumbadze 

30 September 2019 11:08