skip to content

Saakashvili Casts Ballot, Calls for High Voter Turnout

After casting his ballot, incumbent presidential candidate Mikheil Saakashvili called for a high voter turnout.

“Not the fate of Saakashvili, but Georgia’s fate is being determined today,” Saakashvili told journalists after casting his ballot. “It’s [Georgia’s] fate is in our hands, in the hands of each Georgian citizen. If our citizens are active, our future will face no threat. Future generations will thank us because we did not stay at home today, despite bad weather…. There is no time for hesitation. We should put aside our disagreements and say: we need unity, we need calm.”

He then addressed allegations – made by the Georgian side – that ethnic Georgians in the Gali district of breakaway Abkhazia were under pressure from the local Abkhaz authorities not to travel to the nearby town of Zugdidi. They must travel to the town if they wish to vote in today’s election.

“The secessionist authorities are preventing our citizens from Gali from crossing the Enguri [river, which divides breakaway Abkhazia from the rest of Georgia]. They are being denied the right to vote. I want to ask everyone, who lives on our side of Enguri [meaning, Georgia proper] – in order to ensure that Enguri never divides our country, in order to avoid unrest, to ensure that Georgia is united – I want to ask them to be much more active on our side of Enguri, because this will mean that we offer our hand to our compatriots on the other side of Enguri… Our people in Gali are pinning their hopes on the Georgians living here, and we, together, should be very active in representing those people and showing them that we are united and nobody will ever be able to defeat us.”

Saakashvili then said he had cast his ballot for Georgia’s “future, for our unity and for our membership of NATO.”

Commenting on the second plebiscite on when to hold parliamentary elections – either in spring or late 2008 –  Saakashvili said: “We were in favor of holding them as was mandated in the constitution [in late 2008], but  we are willing to hold them whenever the people decide.”


Back to top button