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Ex-Georgian president’s wife to run for Georgian parliament

August 19, 19:19 UTC+3 TBILISI
The wife of Georgia’s former President Mikhail Saakashvili criticized Georgia’s incumbent authorities for the stagnation
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Mikhail Saakashvili and Sandra Roelofs

Mikhail Saakashvili and Sandra Roelofs

© EPA/IGOR KOVALENKO

TBILISI, August 19 /TASS/. Sandra Roelofs, the wife of Georgia’s former President Mikhail Saakashvili, announced on Friday that she would run for a seat in the Georgian parliament on October 8 this year.

Roelofs criticized Georgia’s incumbent authorities for the stagnation, which had hit the Georgian economy over the past few years. "Under these circumstances, I do not want to sit passively at home. Many people told me that I should not interference in politics but I am concerned with Georgia’s development. That is why I have made up my mind to run for parliament," Roelofs said at a meeting of the leaders of the ruling United National Movement party with the residents of Georgia’s Zugdidi district held in the village of Kortskheli earlier on Friday.

Sandra Roelofs was born in Terneuzen, Netherlands in December 1968. In 1991, she graduated in French and German languages from the Erasmushogeschool in Brussels and in 1993 attended courses at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg. She knows several West European languages as well as Georgian and Russian. In 1993, she met Mikhail Saakashvili in Strasbourg. They got married a year later in 1994.

Roelfs took a Georgian citizenship in 2008 without giving up her Dutch citizenship and now has a dual Dutch-Georgian citizenship.

Roelofs and Saakashvili have two sons, Eduard (b. 1995) and Nikoloz (b. 2005). In recent years, Roelofs has been living in Tbilisi with her younger son Nikoloz. Her elder son Eduard studies in the United States.

Saakashvili was the president of Georgia in 2004-2013. He lived in the United States for some time. He received the Ukrainian citizenship in May 2015 and was appointed the governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region the same year. In 2014, Saakashvili was charged with a number of crimes in absentia. He was stripped of his Georgian citizenship in 2015.

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