Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has brought forward presidential elections in an attempt to defuse a political crisis. The newly united opposition, which staged protests in the capital Tbilisi for six days running, claims the President’s response is a victory for the people. After tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannon were used to crush anti-government protests on Wednesday Saakashvili ordered a 15-day state of emergency.
The President said security officials had foiled a coup instigated by Russian agents and expelled three Russian diplomats. Moscow strongly denied the accusations.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mikhail Kamynin said: “All the statements by the Georgian authorities about the alleged interference by the Russian Federation in Georgia’s internal affairs do not accord with reality. This is simply an attempt by the Georgian authorities to cover up its own inability to solve its own internal problems”
Saakashvili also promised a referendum on whether to hold parliamentary elections. The new presidential poll is now scheduled for January the 8th.