It’s a crazy period in Ukraine once again. President Volodymyr Zelensky wants to appoint 52-year-old Misha Saakashvili as Ukraine’s deputy minister for reform. Saakashvili is a former president of Ukraine who is endlessly fun and energetic to view that is if disaster movies are your taste.
Saakashvili’s ideas are not novel or bad- he just wants to put a stop to chronic corruption boost economic growth and slash regulation, but his record in Ukraine is not impressive. There is no denying the fact that he is a charismatic politician who performed some good in Georgia for some period until he didn’t. But in Ukraine, a country far complex and one where he is still viewed as a foreigner has already failed abysmally.
In 2015-2016, former president of Ukraine who is also his former classmate, Petro Poroshenko appointed him as the governor of the Odesa region of Ukraine. Saakashvili pledged to tidy up the city’s port system which gained a bad view, but the local governor, Gennady Truhanov turned out to be far tougher and so Saakashvili instead focused his energy on staging media shows rather than the reforms he planned to do.
If Saakashvili disappointed as a regional ruler, why would Zelensky elect him in command of countrywide reformation?
Two reasons say it all.
First Zelensky’s rating is slipping and he is very desperate to put actions on board. He promised to end the war, end graft, and make Ukraine richer. So far he is zero out of three, and he has already been in office for a year. Ukraine still maintains its position as the poorest country in the European continent and the war continues abated, ignored by most countries worldwide.
Saakashvili is a huge, attention-grabbing name and by aligning himself with another celebrity who is quite popular in the West and constantly talks of good reforms, Zelensky might be able to buy more time for himself to prove his leadership credentials.
Ukraine has to sweeten up the West and also convince the IMF to approve a multi-billion dollar program. So far, the IMF has been unwilling to sign the deal, concerned that Oligarch Ihor Kolomosiky is trying to gain control of his former bank, PrivatBank.
Second, appointing Saakashvili is revenge. Petro Poroshenko dislikes him. Poroshenko made his security services to trap Saakashvili on the roof of his residence and then removed him forcefully from one Georgian restaurant in the capital Kyiv at gunpoint. He was deported on a private jet which was en-route to Poland to prevent him from standing for president.
At the time, Saakashvili was a legitimate political threat to Petro Poroshenko’s administration, which was performing badly at the polls.
Giving Saakashvili an appointment is likely to fail and will lead to further destabilization of a weak government that recently came into office on 4th March.