Georgia is to lift its state of emergency on Friday. The move, announced by parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze, comes after pressure on President Mikhail Saakashvili from the United States and the European Union. Georgia’s pro-Western leader is facing his worst political crisis since being propelled to power in the 2003 Rose Revolution.
Saying it was needed to prevent a coup, he imposed emergency rule a week ago after police crushed street protests by opponents demanding his resignation. The President has accused Russia of fomenting unrest in his country, something Moscow firmly denies. In a bid to defuse tension with the opposition, he has set an early presidential election for January 5.