Андрей Илларионов (aillarionov) wrote,
Андрей Илларионов

Историческая речь Михаила Саакашвили 8 февраля 2013 г.

Последнее обращение уходящего в октябре этого года с поста президента Грузии Михаила Саакашвили к гражданам страны и депутатам парламента было запланировано на 8 февраля, в день памяти благоверного Давида Строителя.


Однако вначале нынешний премьер Б.Иванишвили заявил, что будет бойкотировать выступление М.Саакашвили в парламенте. Затем парламент, в котором партия «Грузинская мечта» обладает большинством, отложил это выступление из-за развернувшегося спора между ГМ и ЕНД по конститутционным поправкам о полномочиях президента. Перенесенное затем в здание Национальной библиотеки выступление Саакашвили там также не состоялось из-за столкновений на площади перед библиотекой.


В результате Саакашвили выступил перед приглашенными, включая членов парламента от всех партий, в том числе и от ГМ, а также представителей дипломатического корпуса, в своей резиденции. Патриарх Илия, присутствие которого на выступлении президента рассматривалось в качестве политического знака, в резиденции не появился.


Некоторые тезисы выступления и ответов на вопросы на русском языке:



П.С. в 22.30 9 февраля
Перевод всего выступления на русский язык:



Ниже следует текст выступления Михаила Саакашвили в президенской резиденции в Авлабари 8 января 2013 г. (англ.яз.)

Mister Speaker,

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Representatives of the Georgian people,

My fellow citizens,


The past two decades have witnessed the emergence of something that had remained for centuries and centuries a faraway mirage: the rise and consolidation of our beloved Georgia as a free, independent, democratic nation on its way to its European family and destiny.


A nation free to pursue its own course and choose its own alliances.

A nation delivering to its citizens the promise of a better life.

A nation in which the people’s representatives are freely elected and tasked with the fulfillment of this promise.


Today, you are – all of you in this room, beyond your political differences – the legitimate representatives of this free nation. This is why I am honored and humbled to address you. To address you, and through you, to address our collective master: the people of Georgia.


I come here not as a party leader, but as a President and as a citizen. I come here not to highlight the differences that divide us—as significant as these might be—but to focus on what should unite us, as citizens of Georgia and also as women and men who have committed themselves to represent, serve, and protect the people of Georgia. Such a commitment cannot be taken lightly. It cannot be underestimated or overlooked. It is the deepest commitment a public servant can have in his life. All of us are bound by this commitment, so let us all be honorable servants of our people.


Today, we celebrate David the Builder, great symbol of a glorious past we all cherish, a past that has defined us all and that remains more than ever a source of inspiration for our present and our future. David’s day is a perfect opportunity to ask ourselves what makes us a nation.


A nation is obviously defined by a shared past. We all respond in the same emotional way when we hear the names of David, Tamar, Rustaveli, Chavchavadze or many other founding figures of our nation, when we see the medieval towers of our mountains – when we enter in our ancient churches — when we visit our museums — or when we read the letters of our brave Kings to the Pope of Rome or the King of France asking for support and friendship in the face of the threats that have challenged our sovereignty throughout history.


We all feel the same shivers in our hearts and our souls that can only be explained by this fact: we all belong to the same nation. Our past has often been painful, but also many times glorious. It has been marked by betrayals and collapses. But it also offers shining examples to follow and amazing figures to cherish and emulate. This past makes us who we are as Georgians.


But a nation is not only a legacy of centuries, a fixed object to be preserved and polished like in a museum. A nation is also a project for the present and the future—a project that unites us beyond our political, social, religious, ethnic, or regional differences. A nation is not an ethnicity and it cannot be only a common History. A nation, ladies and gentlemen, is a national project.


And the question I want to ask now and explore with you is the following: what is the national project of Georgia?

What is the project that unites us, makes us a nation and not only a collection of individuals or communities?


This national project, my fellow citizens, is based on simple principles that are shared by all of us in this room: independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, democracy, prosperity and Europe. All these principles are inter-connected. In the absence of even one of them, the whole edifice can crumble.


Undermine our sovereignty and there is no democracy possible: how can we build a democracy in a nation that does not fully control its own fate? Remove democracy and we cannot have prosperity and social equality: power in the hands of the people is the only way to ensure that the national wealth is not seized by an oligarchy and that we have a healthy framework for economic growth. Take out Europe and we lose sovereignty. The very moment we slow down our European and Euro-Atlantic integration, our independence and our sovereignty will be hungrily swallowed by a former Empire that has an unmistakable tendency to misunderstand the concept of borders. I am convinced that none of you in this room would oppose any of these principles or contest that they are the very basis of our national project.


Yes, I repeat a national project—I am proud of this name: national. But let me be clear: this national project is not owned by any political party or any social organization. This project is not my property or the property of my party. Nor is it the property of the Prime Minister or of his party. This project is larger than any of us separately and than all of us together. It is something that nobody can buy or break, that nobody can sell or destroy. The people of Georgia have the right to believe that, at any given moment in history, this or that party is better able to implement, safeguard, and promote this project. But no party can ever pretend to own this project or aim to ruin it.


The results of the last elections have shown —as will the results of other elections in the years ahead — that governments and majorities can change, but that the people, the State and the national project are here to stay. Let us all understand this, let us all agree on this. And if we all agree on this, then I am sure we can find ways to cohabitate and to cooperate in service to our national project, in service to our people. If we do so, then I am sure we will not hear anymore public calls to destroy or lynch the opposite party. 

Then we will stop having crowds attacking political gatherings or local self-governments bodies. Then we will stop watching daily headlines about arrests, about pressures on MPs to switch sides, on media outlets to change owners, or on elected leaders to resign.
Let us agree that a few hundred people shouting insults or throwing eggs are a sideshow to history, not the main event. Our national project is history.


Ladies and gentlemen, The electoral campaign is over and – before another one starts, very soon, with its cortege of short-term political strategies, insults and attacks – let us agree on the moment we are living in together and the stage of our development in which we are all participating.


As I said earlier, the last two decades have seen the rebirth and renewal of Georgia as a free, independent, and European nation. Nobody can deny the progress that we have all recently achieved. Denying our advances might seem to some like a smart political calculation. But what good does it do for the country to diminish its successes and undo what has been done?


The spectacular progress of our nation has not been an easy journey on peaceful and calm waters. It has not been a journey without mistakes and setbacks. It also has not brought fruits to every single Georgian home as quickly as many would have liked, as quickly as I would have liked.


I know that the living conditions of our fellow citizens should have improved much faster, and I know how much our people are still struggling every day with unemployment and poverty. I know as well what it has cost us to affirm our independence and our sovereignty in the face of a vengeful and revisionist Empire. I know too well that hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens still cannot return to their towns and villages because foreign troops occupy 20% of our territory. I know all of this. And I know about the many more problems our people still face.


Yet, my fellow citizens, in a nation defined by so many proud and diverse regions, cultures, religions, ethnicities and political passions, we have maintained our unity throughout all the crises we have endured.
Yet, in the face of invasion and occupation, we have maintained and developed our state and our democracy.

Yet, we have made political, social, and economic progress that has astonished our region and, beyond our region, the world we aspire to join: the Western world.

Yet, we have brought our national project to a totally new level.


Let us look back for a moment and see where we were and where we stand now. Not so long ago, we had no state at all. And now we have strong institutions that are praised inside and outside of our borders. Not so long ago, crime and corruption were everywhere. We were dominated by gangsters and thieves-in-laws, we could not let our sons and our daughters go out without fearing the worst for them. And now we enjoy safe streets and international organizations rank Georgia as the top fighter in the world against corruption. Not so long ago, we were a post-Soviet nation and now we stand at the threshold of EU and NATO. Let us agree on this and let us praise together the Georgian people for their bravery, their resilience, and their commitment to freedom.


Does it mean that we have achieved all our goals? Does it mean that we have finished our journey? Does it mean that our people enjoy already the prosperity of other European people? Does it mean that the previous governments did not make mistakes or that they succeeded in everything? Absolutely not.


It means something totally different. It means that our nation has still much more to achieve. It means that the new government should build on the foundations it inherited from others and succeed where others did not succeed. It means that more must be done—rather than being undone for purely political reasons.


Allow me to ask you very basic questions. I believe that, despite our political differences, we will share the same simple answer to all these questions.

Is the fact that the previous government was tough on crime a good reason to release criminals and bring back old fears into our streets?

Is the fight against crime a partisan issue?

Is the fact that the previous majority initiated a process of decentralization a good reason to reverse course, to recentralize power, and for instance to return this Parliament to the capital?

Is decentralization a partisan issue?

Is regional development a partisan issue?

Is the fact that my party promoted restlessly the multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature of our nation a sufficient reason to multiply anti-minorities statements, threats or even actions?

Is tolerance a partisan cause?

At the same time, and it is more than an unfortunate coincidence, is the fact that the previous government was tough on violent separatist organizations and on Russian penetration a good reason to release separatist leaders, Russian spies, and ultra-extremist xenophobes?

Is the fight against  extremism a partisan pursuit?


To all these questions, and to many others of a similar nature, I am sure you will unanimously respond “no.”


And this gives me hope that some of the very troubling moves that we have all witnessed in the past weeks and months will soon vanish and that our national journey will continue, unharmed and undefeated, under the newly elected majority as it did under the previous one.


Ladies and gentlemen, Let us forget for a while our political quarrels and look at the results of the last elections without partisan prejudice. What did people say on October 1st when they voted for a new majority and a new government? Did they vote for the destruction of all that has been achieved? Or did they vote for even more progress to be made and for its results to reach every Georgian home? We will all agree, I hope, that the people voted because they wanted more — and not because they wanted less.


So now it is time for the new majority to give more to the Georgian people and to continue to build our national home. It is time for the winners of the elections to build a new floor in our collective house, rather than undermining its basement.


Turn to the Majority MPs:

We wish – I personally wish you, the members of the ruling coalition, the greatest possible success in this crucial mission in the service of our people. I will never wish your failure because it would mean the failure of all of us. I came here to offer cooperation. Cohabitation and cooperation: yes, for sure yes. Capitulation in front of threats and blackmail: no, definitely no.


Ladies and gentlemen, I know that it is hard for some people to accept it, but, since last October, we have entered in a period of cohabitation. Cohabitation is a foreign word that has entered only recently in our vocabulary. We are not yet used to it. So let me translate it and you will see that it is a concept quite familiar to our nation: to cohabitate means to live together. Diverse institutions held by opposite political parties have to live together, to share the same constitutional home.


[Turn to the majority MPS]

I know some of you are deeply regretting my presence here. And I would say even my existence as a political leader…You would rather have a different President if it was up to you. Well, to be frank, I would clearly have appointed different people in several ministries or as head of Parliamentary commissions if it was up to me… But it is not up to me to select your committees and not up to you to appoint the President, this is the rule of the game in a democracy, this what is required by the constitution we all must respect.


Our democracy and our constitution do not require us to be friends or allies. They do not oblige the current President and the current Prime Minister to suddenly share the same values or eat at the same table. But they require us to cohabitate, to cooperate for the sake of our national project and for the good of our people.


Late last year, all of us helped make Georgia the first state in the Caucasus—and more broadly one of the firsts in our vast region— to experiment a democratic transfer of power and to embark on a period of peaceful power sharing. As you know, I immediately – this was obvious for me – recognized the people’s will and did everything I could to ensure a smooth transfer of power. Within weeks, ministers handed over their portfolios and the change occurred within our constitution, not outside of it—within the institutional framework and not against it. It was, Ladies and gentlemen, a transition and not a revolution.


If we all understand this, then we all understand that there is no room for vengefulness or civil war-style rhetoric in our modern and democratic Georgia, then we all understand that there is a space for cohabitation and, even more, a space for cooperation between us.


Today, I want to propose ways to achieve this. The secret to success is not to pretend that we have no differences. Of course we do. And they are quite significant. But I see four basic ideas that can and should unite us, four basic ideas that can and should be the basis for everything we do as political leaders and for our cooperation, even as we recognize our disagreements.


First, Georgia should be a sovereign, independent state committed to Euro-Atlantic integration.


Second, Georgia should be a constitutional democracy, where we abide by the will of the people and place laws and independent institutions above parties and leaders.


Third, Georgia should be a civilized society, where citizens can live their lives without being afraid of criminals or gangsters, without fearing that corrupt figures will seize their property or the public resources that flow from their taxes.


Fourth, Georgia should be a country where people are free to pursue their own livelihoods, a country that rewards hard work, innovation, and entrepreneurship, a country where everyone is offered an opportunity to succeed.


These are not partisan ideas. These are national ideas. And if we all swear allegiance to these ideas, there will still be ample room for us to pursue our differences in a way that protects our country, preserves our liberty, improves our conditions, and benefits the people.


Let us cooperate on our foreign policy.

Let us work together to add to the constitution a commitment to our Euro-Atlantic path.

Let us pass together a constitutional law on de-occupation and let us debate calmly the best ways to engage our people forced to live under foreign rule.

Let us convene again National Security Council meetings so that we can share information and shape common strategies to make our country safer and more integrated into the West.

Let us work together to make our democracy progress and empower more our people. Let us pass now a legislation on the direct election of all the mayors and gamgebeli, already for the next 2014 local elections.

Let us cooperate on improving our legal system and ensuring the independence of our judiciary.

Let us reform together our law on privacy, so that no Georgian woman or Georgian man will ever have to fear that the State is illegally watching her or him or handing over to media details of her or his private life. Let us make sure that the State apparatus is protecting and not threatening the freedom of our citizens.

Let us cooperate to challenge the idea that politicians make promises only to win votes, by helping the government to fulfill its social promises.

Let us conceive together a major rural development plan, as well as ideas to attract more investors to our country.


The new government and the new majority are more than free to discard specific policies of the previous authorities that they believe did not achieve their goals. But they should not discard what is fundamental about our new, free, modern Georgia.


I call on you, elected members of the new majority (turn to them):

Keep your promises: deliver on what you held out for the people.

Keep the order: never allow us to return to crime, corruption, and chaos.

Keep our democracy: do not seek to destroy your opponents through judiciary or through violence, but try to win the debate within the framework of our constitution

And keep our country: guard our freedom, protect our sovereignty, and progress on our path to Europe and NATO.

In doing so, you will find a constructive opposition ready to debate and cooperate. You will find in me a resource rather than an obstacle.


Ladies and gentlemen, All of us—starting with the members of my own party and myself—have to listen carefully to what our people have said in the last election and to what they want from all of us now. As I said, people did not vote for destruction. They voted for more, not for less. At the same time, if they were satisfied with everything that was done by the previous government, then the election outcome would have been different — so there are things to correct or to do in a different way.


Turn to Minority MPs

Dear friends from the United National Movement, I am convinced that our collective priority is to listen more to the people—much more than what we have done in the past. Our party has created an institutional framework in which elections are free and fair and through which people can do and undo the majorities that govern them. This is an achievement we can all be proud of. But we, the leaders of the UNM, gave often the impression that, elections aside, we did not give to the people enough control over what we were doing, enough stake in our collective work and enough space or time to voice their hopes and their concerns. We have to be humble and hear the people s message.


In the coming days, I will start a series of town-hall meetings all around the country to hear what the people have to say about our record and our attitude, about our past and our future, I will listen to what they hope for and what they fear. I am not speaking here about usual political rallies, where the party leaders have the floor. I am speaking about a listening tour, in which the people will have the floor and the party leaders will take note of what they hear.


This is, my dear friends, the basis of true and noble politics. Because, in a democracy, political leaders take their orders from the people themselves. Not from anybody else. We all know what we want for our country. But we should first listen to what our citizens really want or reject in order to shape a program and define a position.


Ladies and gentlemen, There were times when our parents and grand-parents were arrested and deported for the mere act of whispering the dream of a free, independent, and democratic Georgia. There were times when Georgian women and men defied torture and death to stand up for this dream. Now that this dream has become a reality, it is our duty to work together in order to safeguard and advance this reality.


Let us not sacrifice this nation on the altar of personal ambition or collective anger.

Let us not spoil this historic opportunity.

Let us work together instead of arresting, insulting, or beating each other.

Let us be worthy of our past and our future, worthy of our people.

Tags: Грузия, Саакашвили, демократия, право

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