Georgian Speaker Calls For Early Parliamentary Elections

Speaker of the Georgian parliament Zurab Zhvania has expressed his willingness to leave his post and thereby refute accusations that he is using the present events in Tbilisi to seize power. The speaker set forth his position on Thursday, while appearing at an opposition rally in the Georgian capital to support the independent television company Rustavi-2. The Georgian authorities have recently attempted to shut it down. However, the speaker said that the best way to relieve the tension in the country would be to call early parliamentary elections. The next sets of elections are scheduled for 2003. Zurab Zhvania has twice been elected as speaker, in 1995 and 1999.

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