Georgia's president announces government overhaul

September 24, 2008 04:03


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Georgia's president announced a major government overhaul Tuesday, calling it a "Second Rose Revolution" to guard against Russian encroachment following last month's war between the two countries. In a speech before the UN General Assembly, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said expanded democratic initiatives will include stronger checks and balances in government, more independence for Parliament and the judiciary, and increased funding for opposition parties. "We will, in short, fight the specter of aggression and authoritarianism with the most potent weapons in our arsenal - namely, our commitment to ever-expanding freedoms within our borders," Saakashvili said. "This amounts to nothing less than a 'Second Rose Revolution."' Saakashvili said opposition parties also would have greater access to the airwaves. He pledged that the nation's laws would be strengthened, too, by introducing "enhanced" due process, jury trials and lifetime judicial appointments. Finally, he promised to "expand and deepen protections of private property."

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