Georgia awaits Saakashvili’s resignation

In line with Georgia's constitution, President Mikhail Saakashvili has until next Monday to step down. The country is preparing for an early presidential election on January 5.

Voting has to take place no more than 45 days after the President resigns and candidates must be presented 40 days prior to the vote.

After the President’s resignation, the country's second top official, Parliament Speaker Nino Burdzhanadze, will lead the country until the election.

She played this role after the Rose Revolution of 2003 and the resignation of former President Eduard Shevardnadze.

Before she takes over, Parliament must pass a confidence vote in Georgia's newly appointed cabinet and new Prime Minister, popular businessman and media personality, Lado Gurgenidze.

Nino Burdzhanadze
Nino Burdzhanadze

“Let's devote the beginning of this week to the consideration of the new cabinet by the various factions and committees, and start the procedure of approving the cabinet on Thursday,” Nino Burdzhanadze said.  

President Saakashvili called the snap poll after opposition protests in Tbilisi were violently dispersed on November 7. It was the biggest political crisis Mikhail Saakashvili has faced. Nonetheless, he seems confident of victory.

“After the elections we will see how your ministers have been working, and then, according to your mandate, we will be able to revise the cabinet if necessary,”  Saakashvili said.

With the opposition apparently split in the run-up to voting, and with different parties putting forward four candidates, Saakashvili's chances of re-election look good.