Oct. 2 - Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili concedes defeat and announces his party will now become the opposition. Sarah Sheffer reports.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili announces that his ruling party United National Movement has lost the parliamentary election to opposition coalition Georgian Dream. Saakashvili said in the televised address that he will respect the voters' will and abide by the country's constitution. He also said he will help the opposition to form a new government. Political observers in Georgia praised Saakashvili's commitment to democracy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL GEORGIA CHAIRMAN MARK MULLEN, SAYING: "You know, Saakashvili has been saying for a long time that Georgia is a democratic country, and I think it's been proved right now. The Central Election Commission is releasing the results slowly, but they're releasing the forms of each individual polling station for all the results that they announced, signed by the observers." If Georgian Dream ousts Saakashvili's ruling party, the election will mark the first peaceful transfer of power between rival parties since the Caucasus country won independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Saakashvili has vowed to step down after the presidential election next year, but if his party had held on to the majority in parliament, it would have given him a potential spot as prime minister.