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Georgia: President’s Office ‘Clarifies’ Saakashvili’s Post-Presidency Remarks

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(Civil.Ge) — The Georgian President’s administration said that Mikheil Saakashvili’s remarks over his prime ministerial prospects in an interview with EurActiv website were provided in an “incomplete” form, thus failing to “exactly reflect” the President’s words.

Asked if he was going to become the PM after his second and final presidential term expires in late 2013, Saakashvili responded, as quoted by EurActiv: “The president retains considerable power under our new constitution and the prime minister is important but completely dependent on the parliament. This is not so interesting a position for a person who is currently president.”

The remarks came as a surprise as it was a departure from Saakashvili’s long-standing policy of remaining noncommittal about his post-presidency plans. Whenever he was asked previously on the issue, he was responding that he would not comment on that in order not to become a lame duck president, which in turn would make his reforms vulnerable. Earlier on November 9, the President’s administration has declined to comment whether Saakashvili’s remarks were rendered accurately in the interview; but later on the same day, Saakashvili’s spokesperson, Manana Manjgaladze, released a written statement on the issue.

“We would like to clarify, that this part of the interview is incomplete and does not exactly reflect what president has told the journalist,” the statement reads. “For Mikheil Saakashvili important is not where he personally will be after 2013, but what kind of country [Georgia] will be in two years and how the reforms, implemented by the Georgian authorities, will be continued. The President is oriented towards Georgia’s development and on the projects, which have been launched in recent years. The Georgian President does not comment on his personal future career, so we would like to clarify, that any kind of talks about the issue are just speculation.”

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Civil.Ge

Civil Georgia is a daily news online service devoted to delivering quality news and analysis about Georgia. Civil.Ge is run by The UN Association of Georgia, a Georgian non-governmental organization, in frames of ‘National Integration and Tolerance in Georgia’ Program financed by USAID. Civil Georgia is also supported by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

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