The Georgian Parliament has overwhelmingly approved Zurab Nogaideli as the country's new prime minister.

Lawmakers backed the nomination Thursday by a vote of 175-to-24.

Mr. Nogaideli, who previously served as finance minister, succeeds Zurab Zhvania, who died earlier this month from what officials said was accidental gas poisoning.

The Georgian Parliament also approved changing the constitution to downsize the 235-member parliament to 150 deputies. The change goes into force with the next parliament, which convenes in 2008.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.