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Georgian Leader Threatens To Dissolve Adjar Parliament

Tbilisi, 10 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has threatened to dissolve the parliament of the autonomous republic of Adjaria and call for early legislative polls unless troops controlled by the local Security Ministry are disbanded.

Addressing reporters late yesterday in Tbilisi, Saakashvili said all armed groups in the Black Sea republic were illegal and should be disbanded, with the exception of Adjar leader Aslan Abashidze's personal bodyguards.

Since his election last January, Saakashvili has vowed to restore Tbilisi's control over Adjaria. Among other things, the Georgian government blames the autonomous republic for not meeting its financial requirements toward the central budget.