Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Saakashvili Admits Election Loss

President Mikheil Saakashvili has admitted his party has lost Georgia's parliamentary election, in a live TV announcement. He said the Georgian Dream bloc of his main rival, billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, had won Monday's election. Victory for Mr Ivanishvili means the first democratic transfer of power in Georgia's post-Soviet history. Mr Saakashvili, who has led the country since 2003, will remain in power until presidential elections next year. However, under agreed reforms the parliament and prime minister will acquire greater powers than the president after that election. In his TV address Mr Saakashvili said "it's clear from the preliminary results that the opposition has the lead and it should form the government - and I as president should help them with this". His United National Movement would become "an opposition force" and would "fight for the future of our country", he said, acknowledging big differences between it and Georgian Dream. "Democracy works and the Georgian people take the decision and this is what we deeply respect," he added.


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