A drugs PR-test11.03.2010 | 22:36
The Georgian government is going to pass a drugs test at the suggestion of the parliamentary opposition. President Mikhail Saakashvili expressed his readiness to be the first to submit to a hair test, just like in the times when he was Minister of Justice. The humiliating and extravagant way to show that the leader of the country is concerned about the social problem was commented upon by the Georgian and Russian experts.
Drug dependence is one of the most popular accusations addressed to Mikhail Saakashvili. The first person to voice it in September 2009 was President of Russia Dmitriy Medvedev; he referred to the western journalists who had had a chance to talk to the inadequately speaking Georgian leader. "A two-hour interview in a state of the serious drug intoxication is too much for the head of the state", - Medvedev underlined.
The Georgians justified their leader: they said he was nervous and took a sedative.
However, at the end of last year the issue was raised again in connection with a proposal made by the former Minister for Conflict Settlement Georgiy Khaindrava to Saakashvili: he suggested that they should both undergo an expertise in an out-patient department for drug addicts.
To do away with the accusations, Mikhail Nikolaevitch decided to make the entire government undergo a drugs expertise at the suggestion of the parliamentary minority delegate Dmitriy Lordkipanidze.
"This is one of the best ideas that I have heard of recently", - he said.
According to the president, 10 thousand officials will undergo the expertise by the smartest and least humiliating way of submitting to a hair test. The bald ones have nothing to worry about, while the long-haired officials may still have the trace of drugs on their hair even if they used them a year ago.
Saakashvili thinks drug dependence to be a true disaster for Georgia. According to him, over 6 thousand people were arrested in the country for drug distribution.
At the same time, Saakashvili believes that the draconian measures are insufficient to solve this problem. He is calling to initiate a large-scale anti-drugs program. Revealing drug addicts among the officials, as well as in the rest of the fields at the discretion of directorship is going to become one of the program items.
By the way, in some regions of Georgia, a certificate from the out-patient department for drug addicts is required to get a job, including the parliamentary delegates and even theatre actors.
The president volunteered to be the first to pass the test as soon as the relevant technology is implemented. It is the second time Mikhail Saakashvili is demonstrating his courage. In 2000 when he assumed the office of the Minister of Justice he declared that he would be the first person in the administration to submit to a drugs expertise. At that time, several officers of the Ministry of Justice were caught in drug distribution among the prisoners.
The whole country saw him on TV submitting to the blood test 10 year ago, although no one remembers the results of the test.
However, the new initiative must be another PR-action. As Saakashvili underlined before the expertise results were disclosed, his state office has been the healthiest within the latest years, while, according to Lordkipanidze, drug addicts have been found in the Control Chamber and the Environment and Energy Department of Georgia, Vzglyad reports.
Naturally, the oppositionists started doubting the sincerity of Saakashvili's intentions. For instance, the Laborites are insisting that the expertise should be carried out by the independent western experts because the president might press upon the Georgian ones in order to create a perfect image.
GeorgiaTimes asked Georgiy Khaindrava whether he thinks that Saakashvili has deflected accusations of drug dependence by giving his consent to Lordkipanidze.
- On the contrary, I believe this is the direct confirmation of my words. He actually admitted what I have already said: he is a drug addict. Naturally, the Laborite Party reacted immediately by saying that if he agrees to do it, the expertise should be held by the European experts, not the Georgian ones.
- Do you think he will venture to do it?
- No, he will not agree to the European experts. These are empty statements, cheap populism, which he has been feeding the country with for five years already.
- There were reports saying that when he assumed the office of the Minister of Justice he was the first one to submit to a drugs expertise...
- He speaks a lot about it but he never does real things. Talking is popular in Georgia. They talk about democracy, the freedom of speech and of practically winning the war on August 12. He is free to say whatever he likes; that is his profession, to lie and talk nonsense.
- Do many people in Georgia share your opinion about Saakashvili's drug dependence?