Georgia Prez to Lift Restrictions ... Eventually

Tycoon announces bid for presidency, vows to remove 'facist regime'
By Kate Schwartz,  Newser User
Posted Nov 11, 2007 12:05 PM CST
Georgia Prez to Lift Restrictions ... Eventually
Georgian businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili speaks at an opposition rally outside the parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia, in this Nov. 2, 2007, file photo. According to a radio interview Thursday, Nov. 8, 2007, Patarkatsishvili is now involved in arguably his most audacious project to date, forcing...   (Associated Press)

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili vowed yesterday to end his country's state of emergency—eventually—asserting that the restrictions, which include a ban on independent TV news, wouldn't cease "on orders of a foreign minister of some country," AP reports. Not enough for some: Georgia's richest man announced he would run for president to free the country from "this dictatorial junta."

Billionaire businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili's funds helped bring Saakashvili to power four years ago, reports the Times of London. But after forces broke into and vandalized the studios of his Imedi TV and riot police attacked protesters with rubber bullets, tear gas, and batons, the tycoon declared he was "ready to do anything, even run for president, if it helps my country." (More Mikheil Saakashvili stories.)

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