A statue of Josef Stalin in his hometown of Gori, Georgia, pulled down in 2010, will be re-erected, thanks to prime-minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, a billionaire who is friendly to Russia.
On Tuesday, President Saakashvili described the Gori statue's reinstatement as "anti-Georgian." He called for the prime minister to reverse the decision. "I'm not stupid. I understand who makes all the decisions now," Saakashvili said, adding that the statue would "do Georgia no good."
"The West will laugh at us and turn away from us because of such ideological decisions," he said in comments carried by The Associated Press, adding that the move wouldn't have been possible without Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's approval.
Saakashvili's presidential term does not end until October, but his authority has been further weakened by a constitutional reform that has shifted powers from the presidency to Parliament and the prime minister.
Georgia to Re-Erect Stalin Statue [RIA Novosti/Moscow Times]
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