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Saakashvili Calls for Constructive Dialog in Georgia’s New Parliament

RIA Novosti

15:47 21/10/2012 TBILISI, October 21 (RIA Novosti) - President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili called on all political forces in the country’s legislature for constructive cooperation as the Georgian new parliament opened its first session on Sunday.

“We are not enemies to each other, we are opponents,” Saakashvili said while opening the session of the parliament where his United National Movement is a minority party for the first time in the last eight years.

The Georgian Dream opposition coalition led by billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili won the country's October 1 parliamentary elections. Saakashvili conceded defeat for his United National Movement, adding his party would go into opposition.

The Georgian Dream coalition now has 85 seats in the new parliament while the former ruling party holds 65.

A democratic change of power must become a normal practice in Georgia, Saakashvili said, urging the need to continue reforms in the country.

The majority of the president's executive powers will be transferred to the new prime minister under constitutional reforms that take effect in January.

With a solid majority in parliament, Ivanishvili is the favorite to become prime minister. Saakashvili will remain president until his current term - his last under constitutional term limits - ends in October 2013.

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