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Key events in Georgia's political crisis
( 2003-11-24 10:51) (AP)

Key events in Georgia's political crisis:

Nov. 2 ! Georgia holds parliamentary elections. Opposition supporters allege widespread fraud in favor of parties supporting President Eduard Shevardnadze.

Nov. 3 ! Election commission releases preliminary figures suggesting Shevardnadze's party is in the lead.

Nov. 4 ! Opposition leaders convene a thousands-strong rally outside the parliament alleging fraud. The rally continues around the clock for more than a week.

Nov. 9 ! Shevardnadze meets with opposition leaders. Talks end with no progress.

Nov. 18 ! Supporters of a party supporting Shevardnadze take over the opposition protesters' rallying spot outside parliament, vowing to stay until parliament is convened.

Nov. 20 ! Georgia's election commission validates the balloting that put Shevardnadze's supporters in first place. Provincial opposition supporters start marching toward the capital. U.S. State Department criticizes "massive fraud" in voting and say elections "do not accurately reflect the will of the Georgian people."

Nov. 21 ! Georgia's security chief declares the elections fraudulent and calls for a new vote.

Nov. 22 ! Shevardnadze convenes the newly elected parliament and refuses to step down. Opposition supporters storm the building and force out the legislators and Shevardnadze. Shevardnadze's press service calls it an attempted coup; the opposition calls it a "velvet revolution," comparing it to the largely bloodless end of Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1989.

Nov. 23 ! Shevardnadze resigns after his support crumbles, saying he took the decision to avoid bloodshed. Tens of thousands of protesters celebrate their victory in the capital; the opposition names former parliament speaker Nino Burdzhanadze acting president and pledges new parliamentary elections in 45 days.

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