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Kaladze ready to cooperate with opposition

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, October 24
The ruling Georgian Dream’s victorious candidate for Tbilisi Mayor’s post (a former footballer of Georgia’s national team, Dynamo Kiev, and AC Milan), Kakha Kaladze, says he is ready to cooperate with the opposition in his new role.

Kaladze, who won in the first round of the elections according to the election administration’s latest figures, says he is open to any constructive force and even former rivals, who have "concrete realistic ideas and want to contribute to building a better future for our capital."

"I have already talked about this and I will repeat once more that if they have specific visions, ideas, specific projects about Tbilisi, I am ready to cooperate," Kaladze said.

Italia’s La Repubblica edition has published an article assessing former AC Milan defender’s victory as ‘a match with no need of overtime for Kaladze.’

As reported by the edition, it took no runoff for the former footballer to become Tbilisi Mayor, adding the Georgian Dream political party has stronger human and financial resources than other parties.

French media have also responded to Georgia’s municipal elections remarking former AC Milan defender Kaladze has been elected as Tbilisi Mayor. TheLiberation edition also mentions Kaladze’s personal tragedy when his brother was kidnapped and killed in 2011.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi personally congratulated Kaladze on winning local elections, press service of the Georgian Dream political party reports.

“In a phone conversation, Silvio Berlusconi wished success to Kakha Kaladze in his future activities, adding he is hopeful for Kaladze to be a distinguished mayor of Tbilisi,” the political party reports.

Some of his opponents, including the second-place independent candidate, Aleko Elisashvili, also congratulated Kaladze on his victory.

Analyst Gia Khukhashvili said that taking his past and current situation into account, Kaladze’s obligations to people would be higher compared to his predecessor Narmania, as the latter was named by the Georgian Dream founder Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Khukhashvili added that time will tell whether Kaladze manages to free the Mayor’s Office from overarching political influences or not.

Many experts agree that Kaladze is not a leader, and now he will have to work hard to transform his image from that of a footballer into a politician in the eyes of many Georgians.