Levan Gachechiladze

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Levan Gachechiladze

Levan Gachechiladze (Georgian: ლევან გაჩეჩილაძე) (born 20 July 1964) is a Georgian politician and businessman who ran as the main oppositional candidate in the 5 January Georgian presidential election, 2008.

Life and family[edit]

Gachechiladze currently lives in Tbilisi, the city where he was born.[1] He was educated at Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University where he read mathematics and economics. He is married, with three children.[2] His brother is the Georgian rapper Giorgi Gachechiladze, known as Utsnobi (literally: "unknown" or "stranger").[3]

Business activities[edit]

Gachechiladze is a successful businessman, whose personal wealth is estimated to be $USD10 million.[4] His principal business is running the Georgian Wine and Spirits Company,[5] which he founded in 1994. In 1999 Gachechiladze was named Businessman of the Year and his company was named Company of the Year.[6]

Political career[edit]

Gachechiladze is a member of parliament, representing Tbilisi electoral district 2.[7] He joined the conservative New Right Party in 1999, as one of a group of 'New Faces'. In September 2000 he co-founded the 'New Faction', a group led by David Gamkrelidze. In June 2001, when the New Faction was absorbed into a new group called the 'New Conservative Party of Georgia' (NCP), Gachechiladze became chairman of the new group.

Gachechiladze had previously served as chairman of the Economic Reform Committee.

Gachechiladze was involved in the demonstrations held in Tbilisi in November 2007. He was one of four activists who began a hunger strike to demand early parliamentary elections. He was also injured during the protests.[8]

Candidacy in 2008 presidential elections[edit]

On 12 November 2007 Gachechiladze was named as a candidate for the January 2008 Georgian presidential election.[9] His candidacy is supported by the 'National Council', a coalition of some ten opposition parties:[10]

The Georgian Labour Party was also a member of the coalition, but did not support Gachechiladze's candidacy, eventually nominating its leader Shalva Natelashvili.

On 5 January 2008 the Georgian presidential election was held nationwide with the exception of highland village Shatili, where the polling station was not opened due to a heavy snowstorm. The earliest exit polls, carried out by the group of non-governmental organisations and mass-media, suggested the victory of Mikheil Saakashvili with more than half of all the votes (52.5%), securing a full victory to Saakashvili, in turn, avoiding the need for the second run-off.[11] Later results of archevnebi.ge[12] showed Saakashvili had won with 53.5% whereas another source, ukMSN, stated Saakashvili had gathered 53.8% of the votes. The exit polls of all different sources reported Saakashvili's victory. Georgian opposition criticised the exit polls declaring they were biased towards the former president. The central election commission announced that Saakaashvili had won 52.8% of votes cast on Saturday, almost 2 times his opponent, 43-year-old wine producer Levan Gachechiladze, with 27%.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Georgia: Opposition Names Entrepreneur As Presidential Candidate - Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  2. ^ "Gachechiladze Levan (Georgian Parliament profile)". Retrieved 2007-11-13. [dead link]
  3. ^ Corso, Molly (2007-11-12). "Georgian opposition announces presidential candidate". 
  4. ^ The Georgian Times on the Web: Comprehensive news site, daily international, national and local news coverage , breaking news updates, sports, reviews
  5. ^ Georgian Wine and Spirits Company
  6. ^ GWS - About Company
  7. ^ Parliament of Georgia (Tbilisi, Caucasus Region) - Members of Parliament
  8. ^ "Georgia: Opposition Names Entrepreneur As Presidential Candidate". RFE/RL. 2007-12-11. 
  9. ^ "Georgia poll challenger named". BBC. 2007-11-12. 
  10. ^ "United Nominated Levan Gachechiladze For Presidential Elections". Prime News. 2007-12-11. 
  11. ^ today.reuters.co.uk
  12. ^ archevnebi.ge
  13. ^ Reuters, Saakashvili wins Georgian presidential election