As Russia appears to settle down from its presidential election and brief moment of popular tumult, a poll released today shows that Mikheil Saakashvili’s National Movement would win parliamentary elections, scheduled for October of this year, although he may not exactly be resting comfortably with the news.
Despite his National Movement’s 45% support to just 10% for the latest opposition coalition, the opposition is being funded by Bidzina Ivanishvili, the wealthiest man in Georgia, who gave a fiery interview to Der Spiegel today with some incredibly harsh words for Saakashvili:
America has chosen Georgia as a junior partner. The United States believes that Saakashvili is creating a democratic Georgia, but these are merely facades. I want to show the Americans his true face. Saakashvili is pulling the wool over their eyes.
But I would like to ask the West to take a look at the real situation in our country and stop being fooled by Saakashvili. Europe and America should judge Georgia’s leadership on the basis of their actions, not just their words and promises. Otherwise Saakashvili will transform Georgia into a dictatorship.
Ivanishvili made his fortune in Russia and has, until recently, kept a low profile in the media and in politics in Georgia, as well described in this 2010 Prospect Magazine profile. Continue reading Saakashvili still in command ahead of autumn vote