You could use Kerberos to authenticate your CGI script to your runs-as-root script (and vice-versa if you wanted even more security).
To avoid a secret being recorded in your CGI script or one of its configuration files, you could run the script in a persistent environment (e.g. mod_perl) and have an operator enter the secret on startup.
It should be sufficient to authenticate the user once. Securing communications between your CGI script and your runs-as-root script is a separate problem from user authentication.
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