In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Georgian opposition: Saakashvili staged coup

Posted by seumasach on May 6, 2009


6th May, 2009

Georgia’s opposition claims President Mikheil Saakashvili staged an alleged coup plot to deter public attention from a domestic political turmoil.

“I have the impression this is nothing but a theatrical show staged by Saakashvili to distract people from the ongoing protests against his rule,” AFP quoted opposition leader David Gamkrelidze of the New Rights party as saying on Tuesday.

The remarks came hours after the country’s interior ministry announced the uncovering of a military coup plot and an assassination plan ‘backed by Russia’.

Gamkrelidze said the opposition would press on with planned rallies to block main highways after a temporary pause in light of the heightened security.

The plans for the large-scale protests were announced on Monday after a month-long campaign of anti-government protests, when rival opposition groups temporarily put aside differences to join forces, calling for a general ‘civil disobedience’.

The mutiny of about 500 troops at a base outside Tbilisi ended without violence after the president visited the base and urged the rebels to surrender their arms.

The unrest broke out on the eve of NATO war games in the ex-Soviet republic, which has been slammed by Russia as an unwise move in a country just out of war, referring to its August conflict with Georgia over Tbilisi’s actions in South Ossetia.

Georgian officials accused Russia of planning to ‘disrupt’ the NATO exercises, but Moscow’s envoy to the alliance said the charges were ‘provocative stupidity’.

“If Saakashvili gets diarrhea, it must also be the hand or foot of Moscow,” Dmitry Rogozin said in comments broadcast on state television

“Georgia’s latest accusations against Russia demonstrate the sick imagination and irresponsible behavior of the Georgian leadership,” Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told Russia’s Interfax news agency.

“Instead of dialogue inside the country, the Georgian leadership tries to make absolutely delirious accusations against Russia,” he added.

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