Ivanishvili confirmed as new Georgia prime minister

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Ivanishvili confirmed as new Georgia prime minister

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Tycoon Bidyina Ivanishvili has become Georgia’s new prime minister.

The 56-year-old and his cabinet were confirmed by parliament, which is now controlled by his opposition Georgian Dream coalition.

He won a bitterly contested election on October 1 against President Mikheil Saakashvili’s ruling party by promising not to weaken close ties with Washington, which he reaffirmed in a speech to parliament on Thursday.

“Georgia will cooperate with our main ally – The United States – in a framework of a strategic partnership charter. Georgia considers this as an obligation in front of our people.”

Ivanishvili also vowed to rebuild relations with Moscow following a brief war in 2008.

He made much of his estimated five billion euro fortune in Russia in the 1990s.

Saakashvili, who swept away Georgia’s post-Soviet old guard in the 2003 Rose Revolution, must step down next year.