The speaker of the Georgian parliament, Nino Burdzhanadze, has taken over as head of state following the dramatic resignation of the President, Eduard Shevardnadze, on Sunday. Speaking on national television, Miss Burdzhanadze appealed for calm and stability in the coming days.
This report from Chloe Arnold:
A tired but happy Nino Burdzhanadze addressed the nation on television, saying Georgia had overcome its gravest crisis in recent history. The task now was to restore the country to its usual rhythm of life, she said.
Georgia's President, Eduard Shevardnadze, handed in his resignation on Sunday evening following massive pressure for him to step aside. After talks at his home with opposition leaders and the Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, he told the nation he was leaving office to prevent bloodshed.
Earlier army units abandoned ranks, saying they were joining forces with the opposition. There was almost no violence during the campaign to oust the President which opposition leaders are calling a velvet revolution.
Thousands of Georgians celebrated on the streets of the capital for most of the night. They cheered and waved the red and white cross of St. George, the patron saint and the symbol adopted to represent the new Georgia.
New elections are expected to be called within the next two months to choose a parliament and a President.
Chloe Arnold, BBC, Tbilisi
la más grave
its usual rhythm of life
su normal estilo de vida
to step aside
"dar un paso al costado", renunciar de un puesto importante
en este caso - renunciar a su cargo de presidente
baño o derramamiento de sangre
abandonaron sus posiciones militares
a velvet revolution
"revolución de terciopelo", cambio en el sistema político de un país por medio de una revolución pacífica
the patron saint
el santo patrón