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Georgia to hold presidential elections on Jan. 5
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Georgia will antedate its presidential elections from autumn to the beginning of next year, President Mikhail Saakashvili said in a televised address to the nation on Thursday.


Police detain an opposition supporter during a rally in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi November 7, 2007.


Georgian presidential elections will be held on Jan. 5, 2008, Saakashvili said.


Saakashvili said he had made such a decision already. He also said he would lift the state of emergency in the country within the next few days.


Deputy Head of the Georgian Parliamentary Committee on Law Nino Kalandadze told reporters on Thursday that Saakashvili must step down 45 days before presidential elections as required by law.


"Saakashvili's initiative to call early presidential elections on January 5, 2008, is just a proposal which must be examined. Consultations between the majority and opposition factions in parliament and with opposition forces outside parliament are necessary," she said.


If parliament backs Saakashvili's decision, he will step down and announce presidential elections 45 days before Jan. 5, Kalandadze said.


"Under the constitution, Parliamentary Speaker Nino Burjanadze will take over until a new president is elected," she said.


(Xinhua News Agency November 9, 2007)

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