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Georgia Marks Year Anniversary Of Rose Revolution

23 November 2004 -- Georgia today marks the one year anniversary of its Rose Revolution that swept the president from office and replaced him with a Western-leaning reformer.

Georgia's revolution was triggered by allegations of election fraud. Massive protests forced President Eduard Shevardnadze from power and replaced him with reformer Mikheil Saakashvili.

On the eve of the anniversary, the two political parties that organized last year's massive protests, the National Movement and the United Democrats, officially merged.

Speaking yesterday at the congress of the new ruling United National Movement party, Saakashvili said Georgia will never allow its freedom to be threatened.

"We want to have excellent relations with all our neighbors, including, of course, Russia. But everyone should know that there is a red line which we will not cross and that is our freedom. We are prepared to make any concessions but not at the expense of Georgia's independence or freedom," Saakashvili said.

Saakashvili said the whole world saw Georgia's Rose Revolution as a symbol of freedom and democracy.