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Saakashvili inaugurated but poll row continues

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Saakashvili inaugurated but poll row continues


Mikhail Saakashvili has been inaugurated for his second term as Georgian President but the opposition, who claim the recent election was rigged, have vowed to keep the pressure on him. The pro-western leader had hoped his victory earlier this month would bring some stability after weeks of political turmoil. If internal politics remain a headache Saakashvili can at least look forward to better foreign relations.

President Vladimir Putin had been a fierce critic of the Georgian leadership but congragulated Saakashvili on his triumph. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attended the inauguration ceremony in Tblisi in what analysts say was a sign that both sides want to improve ties.

But Saakashvili’s opponents are planning legal action to secure a recount of the vote. They say their candidate was denied a run-off ballot.

The President called the snap election after a crackdown on opposition rallies late last year raised concerns in the West.

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