‘I’M NOT AFRAID OF SAAKASHVILI, HE CAN ONLY HANDCUFF ME’
24 February, 2011
‘I’M NOT AFRAID OF SAAKASHVILI, HE CAN ONLY HANDCUFF ME’

‘You’ve mentioned elite corruption nine times. Political elite of Georgia is here, in this hall. Who is corrupted among these people? I can’t take unspecified accusations’, - said Mikheil Saakashvili to Guram Chakhvadze, member of National Democratic Party (NDP) and the hall lapsed into silence in expectation. But the moment of truth didn’t come – instead of giving the names the MP said: ‘I didn’t mean that you are corrupted’.
We tried to find out why Guram  Chakhvadze couldn’t answer

the President’s question:
G. Ch. – I came to the Parliament rostrum to expose the system, not a concrete individual. I told the President that in the family the head of which is he himself, there is disorder and he is responsible for it. I always abide by presumption of innocence be it Saakashvili or a colleague from opposition. Saakashvili tried to drive me into the corner. To say the truth the question whether he was corrupted or not surprised me.
I think the President reacted on my criticism because of the ambassadors who were present there. He loudly announced for them to hear that he doesn’t misappropriate money.
Q. – Why didn’t you give even a single name? For example Giorgi Targamadze, the leader of Christian Democrats told the President that he was corrupted and explained why.
G. CH. – Targamadze said the same but he extended it a bit, adding that the President was on top of the corrupted pyramid but he didn’t say the President misappropriated money. I was speaking about something different but the President hunted out a phrase from the context and elaborated on it. Limited time was allocated to me and … Well, you have to understand me, he is the President…
Q. – I remember your keen speeches in Shevardnadze’s Parliament. At that time you saw the corruption schemes but can’t you now?
G. Ch. – I’m not afraid of Saakashvili, he can only handcuff me. I have no property or business… They are criticizing me for not naming the corrupted people but I’m not offended. We, politicians are neither gladiators nor clowns to come out on the ring to entertain people. Politics is a higher category; I support the idea of creating a code of conduct for politicians. There are many groundless accusations about opposition as well.
If I blame somebody for corruption, I won’t shake hands with him! I can produce well-grounded information based on the Controls Chamber and accuse the Minister of Healthcare and Prime Minister for the delinquencies in the program for aiding the indigent.
Q. – Then why didn’t you name them when the President asked you?
G. Ch. – I take my words with great responsibility and I was waiting for the Controls Chamber information. I will by all means make Nika Gilauri answerable for all this!
Q. – And won’t you shake his hand?
G. Ch. – Yes, I will but at the same time I’ll tell him that he is responsible for concrete regulatory enactments and corrupted system.
Q. – There are some suppositions that the President revived the NDP because he needed an opposition in the Parliament and he even legitimized your disputable offices.
G. Ch.- The NDP took the office on Rustaveli Ave. when Mr. Saakashvili was defending the USSR border. As for Nadzalasevi district office, we took it when Saakashvili was studying in the USA.
Not many people like the NDP’s revival. After April 9, when I was demanding Georgia’s independence Davit Usupashvili, current leader of Republicans was shouting that Communist party was our leader. I can’t take criticism from such a person.

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