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Bidzina Ivanishvili endorsed as Georgia`s PM

Bidzina Ivanishvili and his political opponent, President Mikhail Saakashvili, will have to work together for the first year of the new government.



Kutaisi (Georgia): Georgia`s Parliament on Thursday approved a billionaire as the country`s new Prime Minister and endorsed his government.

Bidzina Ivanishvili`s coalition won the October 01 Parliamentary Election. Lawmakers voted 88-54 to approve his Cabinet.

Ivanishvili and his political opponent, President Mikhail Saakashvili, will have to work together for the first year of the new government.

When Saakashvili`s second and final term ends in October 2013, a constitutional reform will transfer many of the President`s powers to the Prime Minister.

Ivanishvili, who made his fortune in Russia, has stressed the need to restore relations with Moscow that have been severed since the two countries fought a brief war in August 2008.

He said after his approval yesterday that Georgia will rely on international assistance to try to start a dialogue with Russia "with a goal of developing a strategy for overcoming a crisis in bilateral ties”.

At the same time he vowed to continue Saakashvili`s course to integrate more closely with the West.

"Georgia will aspire to join the European Union, maintain its Euro-Atlantic orientation and integrate with NATO," he told reporters.

Ivanishvili emphasised that "the United States remains Georgia`s main ally”.

PTI

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