Georgia’s ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili steps down as head of Ukraine’s Odessa region

Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia and former governor of Odessa in Ukraine. Photo: Mikheil Saakashvili/Facebook, 07 Nov 2016 - 17:06, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili has resigned from his post as governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region today.

Saakashvili, who served as Georgia’s third president from 2004-2007 and again from 2008-2013, announced his resignation at a special press briefing earlier today.

He accused Ukrainian authorities of corruption and said Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko personally supported two corrupt clans in Odessa.

Saakashvili said despite his resignation, he would continue his fight against corruption in Ukraine along with young and honest forces.

Below is a tweet from analyst of American politics, political development and Eurasia specialist Lincoln Mitchell.

Prior to this, another Georgian ex-official in Odessa, chief of Odessa police Giorgi Lortkipanidze resigned. Lortkipanidze was deputy interior minister of Georgia under Saakashvili’s government and was sentenced to imprisonment in absentia by Georgian court for abuse of official powers.

Meanwhile Saakashvili held the post of Odessa governor since May 2015.

In 2014 Saakashvili was officially charged for his role in several crimes in Georgia however by the time his case went through court he was in already Ukraine.

On May 30, 2015 Ukraine’s president appointed Saakashvili as head of the country’s Odessa region. At the same time he was also granted Ukrainian citizenship.

Receiving Ukrainian citizenship meant Saakashvili’s Georgian citizenship was automatically revoked, as Georgian legislation prohibited people from holding dual citizenship, except for in exceptional circumstances.

Saakashvili is no longer a Georgian citizen and if he returned to Georgia he will face a court of law.