SAAKASHVILI’S POLITICAL TIME-OUT
30 January, 2014
SAAKASHVILI’S POLITICAL TIME-OUT
Interview with Giga Bokeria, a National Movement leader

The Nationals believe that due to the new government’s incapability they will return to power soon. According to rumors spread last week, former chief of the Security Council Giga Bokeria rated the members of his own team and even threatened to execute the Patriarch. We asked Bokeria, one of the leaders of the National Movement, about this, and he called it ‘utter nonsense’.
Q. – Your team’s assiduity is a direct indication
that you are aiming for a quick return to power. How do you expect to counter the mistrust expressed by the people during the 2012 elections?
A. – We have political principles and except for fundamentalist forces that are pushing the country back to medieval times, you cannot name another political party in Georgia which has the unity and distinct political vision that we do.
Q. – Specifically, what mistakes are you taking into consideration?
A. – National Movement came to power in a situation when there was no statehood. We began building the country, and during this process encountered many challenges. But when making reforms you have to create mechanisms of control. We had to hold broad consultations within as well outside the team. Unfortunately this happened insufficiently.
A painful issue was the events that took place in the penitentiary system. When in power, National Movement had a legitimate task to eliminate organized crime in the country. As a result of reforms, the administration was given new options for ruling the system and avoiding violence. Unfortunately the mechanism wasn’t used, and the functioning of the system was frequently based upon violent, often illegal methods.
The latest terrible occurrences in Samegrelo belittled our reforms. It’s true that the activity took place outside of police stations, but the culprits were employees in law-enforcement. This confirms that in the department there were elite special groups that were not duly controlled.
Q. – Elimination of corruption at the lower level was indeed noticeable, but the latest information shows that in the country there was also elite corruption.
A. – When they speak about it, we deal with either ignorance or deliberate lies. One can’t eradicate corruption on the lower level and retain it in the highest echelons. But it would be incorrect to say that there was no corruption at all.
Q. – Former Minister of Defense Davit Kezerashvili’s sudden enrichment is an indication of how elite groups profited while in power.
A. – Kezerashvili is my friend and one of the founders of the party. For this reason I can’t be objective in this case. If somebody committed a crime you have to produce evidence, not groundless facts. He had important contacts with many countries and he used them when he went into business. No country’s legislation bans that.
Q. – Is there any opposition within the team due to inattentiveness on the part of Saakashvili?
A. – In any healthy political team, at every stage there is inner political discussion that sometimes turns into serious political disagreement. Such arguments may even be expressed sharply - but it’s normal. Saakashvili was the leader of processes that laid a foundation for modern Georgian statehood. … then Saakashvili took a political time-out.

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