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Is this Georgia’s answer to Hugo Chavez?

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Reuters News correspondent Matt Robinson filed this post from Tbilisi:

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is back. In a marathon Q&A session on Georgian television on Friday he said he himself was in great shape, but that the parliament speaker’s heart had recently stopped beating after suffering an allergic reaction to medication.

“As a result his heart stopped, he was in collapse,” Saakashvili said, tanned and relaxed. “But then they managed to save him.” He pulled his mobile phone from his pocket and read out text messages from his poorly colleague.

As for the prime minister, he’s working too hard. “I was calling him at 3 a.m. and he was in the office. I come to work at 11, sometimes 11.15. He’s in the office from 8 a.m. I told him he won’t last like that.”

Saakashvili’s relaxed banter dominated the 4-hour show, leaving the impression of a man firmly in control of his government, if not perhaps his train of thought.

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