Georgian president resigns ahead of snap elections

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili resigned Sunday in order to campaign in snap presidential elections, the deputy speaker of parliament in the ex-Soviet republic said in a special session.

Georgian president resigns ahead of snap elections
"President Saakashvili has officially resigned from his position," the deputy speaker, Mikheil Machavariani, said.

The parliament also confirmed January 5 as the date for the early election, which Saakashvili called in the wake of violent clashes between police and protestors earlier this month. Parliament Speaker Nino Burjanadze will be interim president until the vote.

The resignation of Saakashvili came just before opposition protestors were due to hold their first rally in the capital Tbilisi since the clashes. The protest has been authorised by the police.

Saakashvili, who came to power in the peaceful 2004 Rose Revolution, is now seeking to renew his mandate after the violence seriously damaged his reputation among allies in the West.

He promised on Saturday to "hold democratic elections. Every political force will have all opportunities to compete in democratic conditions; media must have all opportunities to work normally within the framework of law."

The ruling National Movement party nominated Saakashvili to run for re-election earlir this week.

"It will be very important 40 days. We will win these elections and January 5 will be the day of a great victory," Saakashvili said.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Kasım 2007, 15:17