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20 May, 2010 09:55

Georgian presidential ejection

Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili has reportedly decided to improve his own security by installing an ejector seat in his private plane.

The opposition Labor Party of Georgia is angry at what it sees as the lavish use of state funds. The party’s secretary general, Iosif Shatberashvili, announced at a press conference that the Georgian president has not only used state funds to buy a Bombardier Challenger aircraft (about US$56 million), but also equipped it with a personal ejection escape system (about US$7 million) out of concern for his own safety.

The opposition leader believes that the purchase was made after the terrible air crash of Polish official delegation near Russia’s Smolensk, which killed practically all of Poland’s high-ranking civil and military officials, including Polish President Lech KaczyÅ„ski and his wife.

Shatberashvili recalled that earlier, Saakashvili had promised to use ordinary flights to move around.

Having criticized the president's unconventional plans, the opposition called on the people of Georgia to boycott the local elections on May 30, and promised to hold a protest rally on May 21 in the center of the capital, Tbilisi.

Meanwhile, according to Georgia’s Public Service Bureau, in 2009, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili earned 53,000 lari (about US$33,000).

Read also – Georgian President Orders Private Jet with Catapult System