President Saakashvili concedes defeat in parliamentary elections

Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili conceded defeat of his United National Movement in the 1 October parliamentary elections. In a televised speech the president said

Dear citizens,

The preliminary results of the Parliamentary Elections show the winning party to be the Georgian Dream. This means that the parliamentary majority should form the new government.

As president, within our constitutional framework, I will support that process so that parliament may function as it should and elect the Speaker of parliament as well as forming a new government.

It is well known that I do not share the Georgian Dream’s views. There are fundamental differences between us and I believe that their views are mistaken. However, the majority of Georgians have made their choice and we appreciate that. At the same time, as the leader of my party, I would like to say that the UNM will now go into the opposition.

The main achievements of the Rose Revolution in these past 8 years are very important, not just for Georgian history but because these achievements make Georgia great in the eyes of the rest of the world.

That is why I believe that it is impossible to eliminate our achievements and as an opposition force we will strive to defend them.

I respect the choice of the majority, while at the same time I am grateful to our supporters. I deeply believe that there is no alternative for Georgia’s progress and development and we will continue to fight against future obstacles.”