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Deposed Separatist Georgian Leader Vows Comeback

16 May 2004 -- The ousted head of Georgia's Autonomous Republic of Adjara, Aslan Abashidze, said on Russian television on 16 May that he still intends to play a role in Caucasus politics.

Abashidze, who had been defying central government control over Adjara, fled to Moscow earlier this month amid street protests in his region.

He told ORT television that "politicians never leave the political arena." He said he feels "great responsibility" as a member of a family that has been involved in Adjaran politics for generations.

However, he did not specify what role he saw for himself in the future.

Abashidze left Adjara after Georgia's new President Mikheil Saakashvili gave him an ultimatum to recognize central government rule or face the consequences.


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