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Presidential Contender Sets Up Party

Gia Maisashvili, an economist and former ally of President Saakashvili, has set up a political party to underpin his presidential ambitions.

Maisashvili said on July 27 his Party of the Future would also run in the 2008 parliamentary elections. He revealed his intention to run in the 2008 presidential elections last month.

?It will not be a party with unsuccessful, so-called politicians. This will be a party of successful people,? Maisashvili told journalists.

Maisashvili, who lived in the United States, was an economist at Enron, but quit the corporation in 2001. He returned to Georgia on the eve of the 2003 Rose Revolution and became an economics consultant to the then opposition leader, Saakashvili. He, however, split with Saakashvili shortly after the revolution.
He then set up a Leadership School with the aim, as the school’s website puts it, of fostering the emergence of ?a new generation of skilled, wise and courageous leaders.?
Maisashvili has never been associated with any political party. He did, however, establish what was meant to be a grassroots movement, Government of the Future. He has not been active since then and has been seen on the Georgian political scene only occasionally.

Maisashvili is one of two declared contenders for next year?s presidential election.

Davit Gamkrelidze, a lawmaker and leader of the opposition New Rights party, declared his intention last month to run for the presidency in 2008.

Salome Zourabichvili, the leader of the opposition Georgia?s Way party and ex-foreign minister, has also signalled her wish to run. She is, however, ineligible, due to a fifteen-year residency requirement. She has only lived in Georgia since 2003.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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