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Georgia's Saakashvili Vows To Fight Corruption


Tbilisi, 6 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- President-elect Mikheil Saakashvili says he will form a special investigative unit to tackle corruption when he becomes the new president of Georgia.

"We need to introduce to the parliament a very drastic anticorruption legislation that would give fast powers to a new elite, small, honest investigative unit that would really tackle high-level corruption," Saakashvili said.

Saakashvili made the remarks to The Associated Press news agency today, shortly after Georgia's election commission said the 36-year-old lawyer overwhelmingly won a presidential poll on 4 January.

Saakashvili has said his anticorruption campaign may target assets held by the family of ousted President Eduard Shevardnadze. He said he does not intend to take vengeful actions against Shevardnadze or his relatives, but that any illegally obtained assets should be returned to the state.

Saakashvili has pledged to battle corruption, work for prosperity, bring Georgia's separatist territories under central control, and to pursue good relations with European countries, the United States, and Russia.

His inauguration has tentatively been scheduled for 25 January.
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