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Ex-Georgian president stripped of citizenship

December 4, 2015

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has been stripped of his citizenship in a move he says is politically driven.

Saakashvili, president from 2004 to 2013, left Georgia in the face of abuse of power accusations leveled by his political foes. Saakashvili’s United National Movement has been in opposition since losing the 2012 parliamentary election to a party founded by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who made his fortune in Russia.

Earlier this year, Saakashvili was given Ukrainian citizenship and named governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The Georgian authorities explained Friday’s move by citing a national law banning double citizenship. Saakashvili, however, claimed the Georgian leadership has done it to deny him a chance to lead his political bloc in the next year’s parliamentary election.