Saakashvili will not participate in Ukrainian parliament elections but prepared to advise president’s team

Former Georgian President and governor of Ukraine’s Odessa province Mikheil Saakashvili does not intend to take part in the snap parliamentary election in Ukraine, he told reporters after returning Ukraine, the Ukrainian News Agency reports.

“I am not going to take part in the elections,” he said.

Saakashvili said that he will “help Ukraine to become better, but in a different capacity”. He also said that he has not discussed any possible positions within President Volodymyr Zelensky’s team.

Before departing on a flight to Ukraine from the Warsaw Chopin Airport, Saakashvili told reporters that he is willing to advise the new president’s team, Ukrinform reports.

“I want to help the new team, the new wave, that has really emerged in Ukraine. If my advice, my consultation or simply my presence would be useful to someone, I will do it,” he said.

Mikheil Saakashvili returned to Ukraine on Wednesday after President Zelensky restored his citizenship.

David Sakvarelidze, former deputy prosecutor general and chairperson of Saakashvili’s party, the Movement of New Forces, said previously that he planned to take part in the elections.

Saakashvili himself said that he has no political ambitions in Ukraine. Dmitry Razumkov, leader of the Servant of the People party, explained that Saakashvili cannot feature on any party lists in the snap election due to the lengthy amount of time he spent outside the country. In order to qualify, he would need to live in the country for five years.

“Movement of New Forces” was founded as a social movement in November 2016, and was registered by the Justice Ministry as a political party in the summer of 2017. At the party’s first rally, Saakashvili demanded that snap parliamentary elections be held in accordance with the new electoral legislation, with a new Central Election Commission and with parliamentary immunity removed.

  Ukraine, Saakashvili, Zelensky, Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada