Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Saakashvili: We hold this election under pressure and blackmail

President Mikheil Saakashvili called today’s election a “very important test for Georgian democracy and the Georgian people.”

Accompanied by First Lady Sandra Roelofs and sporting a pink shirt with a polka-dotted tie, Saakashvili said the international community—both friends and enemies—are watching the elections closely, as he cast his vote at 2 p.m. down the road from our office in Vake district.

Georgia is in a very difficult situation at the moment. We hold this election under pressure and blackmail.”

Russia has been ramping up its involvement in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia, dispatching more troops and deepening links with the region’s separatist administration.

“I want to ask you to support international and local observers, to prevent any kind of violations, because it is the most important thing for our national security, peace and our future,” the president said.

The Dutch-born Roelofs, who is voting for the first time after becoming a Georgian citizen earlier this year, joked that choosing a candidate “was not a difficult decision.”

“I hope everyone will make a proper choice, as I did.”


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