Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has dismissed media reports on worsened health condition of Georgian third president in Rustavi prison No.12 and stated that Saakashvili and his United National Movement (UNM) opposition party ‘are staging a show and trying to mislead the public.’
“Through the false reports on worsened health Saakashvili and the UNM are trying to spark tension ahead of the municipal election runoffs on October 30,” Garibashvili said today.
He stated that Saakashvili has requested seven cans of honey and several litres of juice in prison.
“Individuals on hunger strike never eat half a kilo of honey,” Garibashvili said.
He stated that Saakashvili’s health condition is satisfactory and that he is under the supervision of qualified doctors.
Saakashvili’s doctor said on the weekend that the ex-president’s health condition has worsened in prison due to the hunger strike he began on October 1.
He claimed that Saakashvili has thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin, and that hunger is never allowed for such patients.
Saakashvili called on the public earlier today to focus on runoffs rather than his health.
The mayoral runoffs will take place in Georgia in 20 of 64 election constituencies.
In 17 of 20 constituencies the candidates of the ruling party and the Saakashvili’s United National Movement opposition will compete.
The UNM expected that the ruling party would not receive 43 percent of the vote in the proportional part of the elections and the GD would have to accept the holding of repeat parliamentary elections per the EU-mediated agreement in April 2021.
However, the GD received almost 47 percent of the vote.
Saakashvili left Georgia in 2013, shortly after the Georgian Dream coalition defeated his United National Movement in the 2012 parliamentary race.
He claims he returned after eight years to mobilize his supporters ahead of the October 2 municipal elections and ‘save the country from the regime of the Georgian Dream’ via snap parliamentary race.
Saakashvili was convicted for abuse of authority back in 2018 in absentia and was sentenced to six years in prison. He has also been charged with four other cases, which are ongoing. Both he and the UNM call on voters to take to the streets on October 14 and actively participate in runoffs.