Eduard Shevardnadze has resigned:
TBILISI, Georgia - Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, under increasing pressure for weeks over fraud in parliamentary elections, resigned Sunday, opposition leader Mikhail Saakashvili said.
The Interfax news agency meanwhile quoted Shevardnadze as confirming the resignation, saying "I consider that it is necessary to do this."
News of the reported resignation sparked roars and cheers and excited dancing among the tens of thousands of opposition supporters gathered outside the parliament building, which the opposition seized a day earlier, forcing Shevardnadze to flee the building as he attempted to open the first session of the new parliament elected in the widely denounced Nov. 2 voting.
"The president has accomplished a courageous act," Saakashvili said in remarks shown on Georgian television. "By his resignation, he avoided spilling blood in the country ... History will judge him kindly."
"Velvet Revolution" appears to have been more than just words. In matter of 3 weeks the opposition was able to force Shevardnadze's resignation without firing a shot. I'm still not sure what to make of their political objectives, but their insistence on doing this nonviolently has got to be commended. Likewise, the opposition leaders made perfectly clear that they didn't want a personal vendetta against Shevardnadze and now that he's resigned they seem to be very gracious about it.
It remains to be seen whether this will be good for Georgia or not, but the fact that very little violence was done and very little property was destroyed gives them a good head start.