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Presidential Candidate Saakashvili Instructs Officials
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 Nov.'07 / 21:49

Mikheil Saakashvili, who stepped down as President on November 25 and who is now a presidential candidate, instructed new Minister for Refugees and Accommodation Koba Subeliani and Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava to hand over state owned property occupied by internally displaced persons.

“This is an instruction: hand over everything [residential spaces] which is now under state control to displaced persons,” Saakashvili said.

Koba Subeliani, the minister for refugees and accommodation, said later that Saakashvili was just publicly voicing a decision taken ten days earlier, before he stepped down as President.

Saakashvili, as part of his election campaign, was speaking at a meeting in Tbilisi Municipality buildings with a group of Abkhaz IDPs. 

His remarks followed a question from a woman who told Saakashvili that many IDPs living in state-owned buildings feared being evicted if the building were sold to an investor.

Many IDPs have in fact been evicted from state-owned hotels they had been living in since fleeing Abkhazia in the early 90s, after the state sold up to private investors.

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