What makes Saakashvili a public enemy?
Just a few days after being released by demonstrators Ukrainian politician Mikheil Saakashvili was arrested again on Saturday night. Thousands of people took to the streets of Kiev demanding his release and President Petro Poroshenko's removal from office. Commentators look at why the Ukrainian leadership is cracking down on the opposition.
The Yanukovych system lives on
For the Süddeutsche Zeitung the Saakashvili case demonstrates how carelessly the Ukrainian government disregards the rule of law:
“In Ukraine he is unwelcome because he denounces the corruption that reaches to the upper echelons of the state. In recent months Saakashvili's Ukrainian citizenship has been withdrawn illegally. Countless of his employees have been arrested and deported to Georgia. Now comes the absurd accusation that he was planning a coup, but the evidence presented so far is laughable. ... The case of Saakashvili demonstrates how the Ukrainian leadership under Poroshenko is doing everything it can to maintain the corrupt government system it inherited from his predecessor Yanukovych.”
Poroshenko fighting his own personal enemies
While the state prosecutor and the secret service were mobilised against Saakashvili, more shady political players in Ukraine are as happy as pigs in clover, ex-MP Yegor Firsov writes in Ukrayinska Pravda:
“Ukraine's guardians of peace and justice are not going after the country's real enemies but rather those who make the president feel uncomfortable and dare to speak of corruption in his circles. Others can do what they want: finance the Donetsk separatists, do business with the aggressor [Russia], hold illegal referendums, steal huge sums of money - as long as they're loyal to the government nothing will happen to them. But as soon as anyone hints that Petro Poroshenko is corrupt, they're immediately branded an 'agent of Moscow' or a 'puppet of the oligarchs'.”
Leadership both weak and inefficient
Mikheil Saakashvili has now been neutralised, Latvijas avize observes:
“The power elites in Georgia and Ukraine no longer need Saakashvili. He's been stripped of both his Georgian and his Ukrainian citizenship. ... But Misha just won't give up. His case clearly demonstrates how weak and inefficient Ukraine's leadership is. ... It may be that to progress Ukraine needs a new revolution every now and then. But how long can the state live in perpetual unrest? One year, two, but no more than three. What a shame for Saakashvili, but we should also feel sorry for Ukraine and the Ukrainians.”