Kyiv mayor Klitschko urges ex-Georgian president Saakashvili to lead his party in July elections

Kyiv mayor Klitschko urges ex-Georgian president Saakashvili to lead his party in July elections
Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko asked Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili to lead his UDAR party in the July general election
By bne IntelliNews June 6, 2019

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitchko has offered former Georgian President and ex-Odesa governor Mikheil Saakashvili to head his UDAR party ahead of snap parliamentary elections slated for July.

"I saw today the appeal of Saakashvili, whose political force created obstacles for participation in the elections," Klitchko wrote on his Facebook page on June 4. "I am ready to lend a political leverage. I am sure that our union will redouble its efforts for change in the country, and together we have a plan for changes and people who are able to implement it. [...] I propose Saakashvili head the party."

The mayor added that he supports the steps taken by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy aimed at effective reforming the state and bringing Ukraine closer to the EU and NATO.

On June 3, Saakashvili urged his supporters to back the political force of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in the upcoming snap parliamentary elections. "My position is that we must support President Zelenskiy, and on the other hand, we must help many decent people come to power," Saakashvili said.

Saakashvili returned to Ukraine on May 29. The move followed the restoration of Saakashvili's Ukrainian citizenship by Zelenskiy. The politician arrived at Kyiv's Boryspil international airport from Warsaw, where he was welcomed by his supporters and journalists.

In February 2018, Saakashvili was deported from Ukraine for a violation of migration regulations. The move followed the cancellation of his citizenship by Poroshenko.

In October, Ukraine's State Migration Service refused to grant refugee status to Saakashvili, who is self-exiled from Georgia. The move followed the September crossing of the Polish-Ukrainian border made by the politician despite him having no valid passport. When, in July, Poroshenko stripped Saakashvili of his Ukrainian citizenship, he left him stateless.