"Georgia faces grave danger. In this situation, Ivanishvili has actually announced a casting for the title of the main opposition force. They are pushing one another and compete for the second place in all the upcoming elections being quite happy with this honorable prize. Sorry, but we don’t need it. Our task is to take back power in Georgia, and we must return to power as early as in 2018. How could this be achieved? We must win the presidential race and topple Ivanishvili’s government on the backdrop of this victory," Saakashvili said.
The politician believes that the scenario he described is "quite doable" since the people of Georgia are discontented.
"Ivanishvili has never been that weak in recent years. The people are completely outraged at him. The people understand everything. Members of all population groups began to see clearly the difference between the situation that used to be before him and the things that he damaged and destroyed. The point is that everyone sees that we have a positive progress, and we are the only force that can lead the country out of this crisis. That is why we must now get ready for the presidential campaign. All opposition forces that are not crooked must unite and pick a worthy candidate through the primaries," he said.
Saakashvili also stressed that fresh faces from among the young generation should take part in the election campaign.
"Our force has not become corrupt; it has not split and remained the same despite the enormous pressure and regardless of the fact that it was Ivanishvili's cherished dream. Now we must return the country to Georgians," the former president added.
The last direct presidential election will take place in Georgia in autumn 2018. The election will be held in eight months while the campaign starts in May.
Chairperson of the Georgian parliament, leader of the opposition Democratic Movement party Nino Burjanadze, leader of the Labor Party Shalva Natelashvili, and incumbent head of state Georgi Margvelashvili voiced their intent to run for the president’s post. Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream party and the parliamentary opposition have not submitted their candidates so far.