Opposition politicians have complained that President Saakashvili was using the state of emergency for his own political advantage in the run-up to the presidential polls due on January 5.
“With the elections less than two months away, we still have the state of emergency and the media remains restricted; the Georgian Public Broadcaster [the only television station allowed to provide news coverage] is actually a PR tool for President Saakashvili and this is a huge problem,” Tina Khidasheli of the opposition Republican Party said in an interview with the Georgian daily Rezonansi, published on November 13.
Meanwhile, President Saakashvili met with a group of teachers in a downtown Tbilisi school on November 12. The meeting was aired by the GPB.
Mikheil Saakashvili told the teachers that he had already instructed the government to bring forward the date of a proposed salary increase for teachers. The increased salary, bringing the minimum teacher take home pay to GEL 200 a month, will take effect on December 1, instead of some time in January 2008, as was initially planned.