Georgia’s Former President Saakashvili pushes reform agenda in Poland and Ukraine

Georgia’s Former President Saakashvili pushes reform agenda in Poland and Ukraine

Saakashviili prides himself on implementing lasting reform in Georgian public services and uprooting corruption.

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Photo: Reuters/Gleb Garanich

Today, Mikheil Saakashvili will present his next step in his endeavour to reform political structure in Ukraine and Poland. The former Georgian president will make his case in Pyzemysl, Poland.

Saakashvili was appointed governor of Ukraine’s Odessa Oblast region in 2015 while his relationship with Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko remained amicable. Saakashvili has since resigned, created an anti-corruption Movement of New Forces party against Poroshenko and been deported to Poland. Now in the Netherlands under asylum, he continues to sponsor his parties in both Ukraine and Georgia despite a reputation tarnished by political scandal.

Saakashviili prides himself on implementing lasting reform in Georgian public services and uprooting corruption. His platform today will likely continue pushing for a similar anti-Russia, anti-corruption campaign for Ukraine in this “joint struggle”. However, given his statelessness and the absence of rapid change as promised by his Ukrainian anti-corruption party, Saakashvili’s rhetoric may not be taken seriously, especially by Ukraine’s coalition government already struggling to strike bipartisan deals. He may strike a chord among supporters in Georgia who are preparing for October’s presidential elections, for which he has encouraged his United National Movement to put forth a “single candidate” in coalition with other pro-Western parties.