Monday, March 30, 2009

Eduard Shevardnadze: "If I were Saakashvili, I would step down"

"На месте Саакашвили я бы ушел": Эдуард Шеварднадзе

Ex-Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze stated that "if I were Saakashvili, I would step down." At a meeting with journalists, the 81 year-old Shevardnadze expressed his opinion that "if a hundred thousand or more people gather at the April 9 demonstrations, and they demand Saakashvili's resignation, then, I think, the president should not oppose the people, but should respect the will of the people and resign."

In response to the question, "Have you had contact with Saakashvili?", Shevardnadze answered: "It's already been several years since I last met with him or spoke with him over the phone." Shevardnadze also denied media reports that he intended to make a return to politics. "I'm a pensioner, and I am not meeting with officials nor Georgian politicians. Talk of my returning to politics or power is nothing more than a fairy tale."

Saakashvili has not once stated that he intends to resign before the end of his term in 2013. Authorities emphasize that the fate of Georgia--a country with a population of 4.5 million people--"cannot and should not be decided by 100 or 150 thousand demonstrators."

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