During last summer’s war, Mikhail Saakashvili was beseeching the international community to help his country fend off “Russian aggression,” but now the biggest problem of the Georgian president is rising from within his nation’s own borders. Meanwhile, the U.S. is lying low on Georgians’ demand that Saakashvili resign the presidency.
AP via Google News:
About 20,000 demonstrators kept up the pressure on Georgia’s president to resign Friday, with some pelting his residence with cabbages and carrots on a second day of protests.
President Mikhail Saakashvili rejected their demands and called for talks.
The crowds were thinner than on Thursday, a national holiday, when three times as many demonstrators jammed the capital’s main avenue, but the daily protests showed no sign of ending.
Their most bitter criticism is directed at the president’s handling of the brief war last summer with Russia. The Georgian army was humiliated and the country lost territory as separatists and their Russian allies took full control of two breakaway Georgian regions.
Saakashvili, whose five-year term runs until 2013, told foreign reporters that he would not resign.
“It’s obvious the answer to this question is ‘no,’ ” he said in English. “It has always been ‘no,’ because that’s how it is under the constitution.”
Demonstrators march toward Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili’s residence during a rally in Tbilisi on Friday.