Opposition parties on November 29 accused presidential candidate Mikheil Saakashvili of misusing state resources for his own electoral purposes.
Other presidential candidates - Levan Gachechiladze of the nine-party opposition coalition and the New Rights' Davit Gamkrelidze - have also alleged that the former president is getting an unfair slice of TV airtime.
The criticism follows Saakashvili’s November 28 meeting with a group of Abkhaz internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Tbilisi Municipality building. The mayor, Gigi Ugulava, and Minister for Refugees and Accommodation Koba Subeliani were told by Saakashvili on live TV to hand over state-owned property to IDP occupants. Saakashvili also told the IDPs that they would receive Christmas presents from him.
“Mikheil Saakashvili has no right to give orders and instructions,” Tina Khidasheli of the Republican Party said on behalf of the nine party opposition coalition at a news conference. “He has no right to hold meetings at City Hall …and make promises of Christmas presents. In legal language, it's called bribing voters.”
“When the former president and now a presidential candidate instructs officials, he is misusing administrative resources,” Mamuka Katsitadze of the New Rights Party said.