Georgia lifts state of emergency

Move backed by 142-2 vote in parliament as President Saakashvili appoints new PM.

    Georgia's new prime minister Lado Gurgenidze says he will work to rebuild trust in the government [AFP]


    Independent news broadcasts and demonstrations were banned.

    The US warned that the state of emergency harmed the efforts by Mikhail Saakashvili, the Georgian president, to integrate the small Caucasus nation into the EU and Nato.

    Saakashvili has called early presidential elections for January to try to defuse the worst political crisis he has faced in the four years since he came to power in the so-called Rose revolution.

    The Russian foreign ministry describe the vote as a "farce" to "keep the current government in power".

    Saakashvili has accused Russia of meddling in his country's affairs. 

    PM replaced

    In another development, Saakashvili told reporters on Friday that Zurab Noghaideli, Georgia's prime minister, had resigned and is being replaced by Lado Gurgenidze, a commercial bank chief.

      

    In a clear bid to shore up his popularity, dented by the events of recent weeks, the president said after a government meeting: "With the new prime minister we will have new energy, new force."

      

    Meanwhile prime minister Gurgenidze said he would work to rebuild trust in the government.

      

    "My mission will be to establish a dialogue with society, to build a consensus with the people, whose message we have heard," he said.


    "The priority will be new jobs, new jobs, new jobs."

      

    Government image

     

    Opposition leaders were not impressed. They said the appointment of a new prime minister would make no difference to the government's image.

      

    "Concerning the nomination of a new prime minister, my view is the sooner Saakashvili announces his own resignation, the better," Giorgi Khaindrava, an opposition leader, said.

      

    Saakashvili's critics have questioned the fairness of his decision to hold a snap presidential poll in January.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.