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1 Million Georgians Sign Petition To Oust President

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili
TBILISI -- Activists in Georgia say they have collected more than 1 million signatures on a petition calling for the resignation of President Mikheil Saakashvili.

The activists argue that Saakashvili's term expires on January 21 because the constitution limits presidential terms to five years.

Saakashvili won his second term in an early election in January 2008.

When Saakashvili's party enjoyed a parliamentary majority last year, lawmakers passed constitutional amendments saying an outgoing president must stay in office until a successor is elected.

Georgia's next presidential election is scheduled for October 2013.

Saakashvili's party lost to the Georgian Dream coalition of billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili in parliamentary elections in October.

Ivanishvili stated publicly after taking over as Georgia's prime minister that he would not seek Saakashvili's resignation after January 20.

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

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