Rose Revolution

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A series of demonstrations in Georgia that led to the overthrow of President Eduard Shevardnadze. Parliamentary elections on 2 November 2003 were declared to have resulted in a majority for parties supporting the President; however, international observers reported widespread electoral fraud, and the opposition, led by Mikhail Saakashvili, claimed it should have been victorious. Large demonstrations in Tbilisi and other cities came to a head on 22 November, when the opening session of the new parliament was overrun by protesters (who carried roses, giving the revolution its name). Shevardnadze resigned on 23 November and the disputed elections were subsequently annulled. Saakashvili was elected President in January 2006, and fresh parliamentary elections in March gave him a large majority. The new government began to tackle the endemic corruption of the Shevardnadze era and to institute other reforms. The wider significance of the Rose Revolution was that it replaced a generally pro-Russian regime by a strongly pro-Western one, which subsequently led to friction with Russia.

Subjects: World History.

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