Shevardnadze steps down; Opposition salutes him

Eduard Shevardnadze has announced his retirement as president. Shevardnadze told journalists that he was going home and that it was no longer his affair who would perform the duties of the presidency, Rosbalt reported.

Opposition leaders Mikhail Saakashvili and Zurab Zhvaniya, in turn, said Shevardnadze had acted honorably in giving up his post without bloodshed. The people must now create a new society, they said. They also said Shevardnadze would remain in Georgia.

According to the constitution of Georgia, the speaker of the legislature, Nino Burdzhanadze, should carry out the functions of the presidency, with new elections for president to be held within 45 days.

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