07TBILISI2791, SAAKASHVILI ANNOUNCES PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS FOR

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2791 2007-11-08 15:57 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO1742
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #2791 3121557
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 081557Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8148
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L TBILISI 002791 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR DAS BRYZA AND EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/08/2017 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM GG
SUBJECT: SAAKASHVILI ANNOUNCES PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS FOR 
JANUARY 5 
 
REF: TBILISI 2789 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John F. Tefft for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1. (C) Summary.  In a live address November 8 President 
Saakashvili announced his intention to hold a presidential 
election on January 5, 2008, effectively giving up a year of 
his term.  According to the constitution, Speaker Nino 
Burjanadze will assume the presidency until the election 
date.  Saakashvili also said a referendum will be held for 
voters to decide if parliamentary elections will be held in 
spring or fall 2008.  Saakashvili said he thought the state 
of emergency would likely lapse before the 48 hour deadline 
passed requiring Parliamentary approval.   Prior to his 
address, Saakashvili told the Ambassador amnesty would be 
given to almost all protesters arrested except for a few 
opposition leaders implicated in the plot to overthrow the 
government and he did not yet know what would happen to the 
IMEDI television station. 
 
2. (C) President Saakashvili made the live announcement of 
his resignation on television November 8 at 1900.  He said 
presidential elections will be held on January 5, 2008.  He 
also announced a referendum on the date of parliamentary 
elections to allow voters to decide on fall or spring 
elections.  In his address, Saakashvili said the opposition 
had "knocked on the door demanding early elections and he was 
opening the door." 
 
3. (C) Saakashvili said the state of emergency would likely 
lapse before the Parliament would have a chance to vote on 
its continuance. 
 
4.  (C) Saakashvili told the Ambassador in a phone call 
earlier in the day that Shalva Natelashvili and his family 
had fled to Russia on November 7 via Tskhinvali.  The 
government believes Natelashvili, along with opposition 
leader Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, received Russian money to 
use the November 2 protests to overthrow the government and 
are  now wanted (reftel).  Saakashvili also said Burjanadze 
would meet with several moderate representatives of the 
opposition, including Davit Gamkrelidze, Gogi Topadze, Zurab 
Tkmeladze, and David Usupashvili. 
TEFFT

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