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Georgia's Saakashvili meets winner of parliamentary vote

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Oct. 9, 2012, 2:35 p.m. | None — by Associated Press

Georgia's billionaire and opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili speak to media during press conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012.
© AP

TBILISI, Georgia — A Georgian billionaire whose coalition won the country's recent parliamentary election has met with the outgoing president and pledged his commitment for Georgia's bid to join NATO.

Bidzina Ivanishvili discussed the power transition Tuesday with President Mikhail Saakashvili. Under a constitutional reform to take effect in October 2013, many of the president's powers will be transferred to the prime minister, who is chosen by the parliament.

Ivanishvili, who made his fortune in Russia, previously stressed the need to restore relations with Moscow, which have been severed since the two countries fought a brief war in August 2008.

The pro-Western course was set by Saakashvili, who remains president for another year but lost the power to form the government when his party was defeated in a parliamentary election a week ago.

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