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Georgian Ruling Party, Opposition Negotiate Power Handover

Georgian Dream coalition leaders Irakli Alasania, Sozar Subari, and Irakli Garibashvili leave after a meeting with representatives of the ruling United National Movement at the government offices in Tbilisi on October 5.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's government has started negotiations on handing over power to the opposition coalition that won this week's parliamentary elections.

The talks, which began on October 5, are widely expected to result in billionaire-turned-politician Bidzina Ivanishvili being appointed prime minister.

Saakashvili's second and final presidential term ends in October 2013.

Under a constitutional reform that goes into effect after he leaves office, many of the president's powers will be transferred to the prime minister, who is chosen by Parliament.

The Georgian Dream coalition led by Ivanishvili won a comfortable majority in the 150-member parliament in the October 1 vote but appears to have fallen short of the 100 seats needed to amend the constitution.

Based on reporting by AP and RFE/RL's Georgian Service