Saakashvili speaking in a live TV broadcast at the Georgian Presidential Office said he accepted his ruling party had lost a parliamentary election to an opposition coalition and that he would respect the voters' will.

Georgian Dream coalition leader billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili said he was confident of becoming Georgia's prime minister as partial results put his opposition coalition on course to win a parliamentary election.

Victory for Mr Ivanishvili means the first democratic transfer of power in Georgia's post-Soviet history. Mr Saakashvili, who has led the country since 2003, will remain in power until presidential elections next year.However, under agreed reforms the parliament and prime minister will acquire greater powers than the president after that election.

Written and Presented by Ann Salter