Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Friday He was arrested In Georgia, where he returned on Thursday after eight years in exile. Saakashvili served two terms as the country’s president, from 2004 to 2007 and from 2008 to 2013, and in 2018 he was sentenced in absentia to six years in prison for abuse of power. Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili announced the arrest of Saakashvili.
Since under the Georgian constitution he was unable to run for a third term in the 2013 presidential elections, Saakashvili decided in the same year to leave the country and seek refuge in Ukraine. In 2014, he sided with the Ukrainian anti-Russian movement Euromaidan, received Ukrainian citizenship and was appointed governor of the Ukrainian Odessa region. In the same year, he was deprived of Georgian citizenship and in November 2016 also of Ukrainian citizenship: the latter was subsequently returned to him in May 2019.
Saakashvili announced that he had returned to Georgia, Thursday, via a Facebook post, with the aim of organizing a campaign for his party, the United National Movement, before the local elections on Saturday, October 2. Although he lived in exile for eight years, Saakashvili is still considered the main advocate of the Georgian opposition to the majority party in parliament, Georgian Dream: the latter includes Prime Minister Garibashvili and former Milan footballer Kachaber Kaladze, the current mayor. The capital, Tbilisi.