Host: Hudson Institute. Hudson Institute’s Center for Eurasian Policy would like to invite you to an on-the-record meeting with Levan Gachechiladze, a former presidential candidate and a leading opposition representative of the Republic of Georgia.
Following last November’s events, Mr. Gachechiladze ran as the candidate of the nine-party opposition coalition in the January 5 Georgian presidential elections. According to official results, he received 25.69% of the vote, as compared to President Mikheil Saakashvili’s 53.47%.
At his presentation Mr. Gachechiladze will first talk about domestic developments over the past year, mainly focusing on the period between the November anti-governmental demonstration and the May parliamentary elections; then, before sharing with us the opposition’s future plans, he will give his version of the August events.
Mr. Gachechiladze is originally an entrepreneur by training; he was one of the founders of the Georgian Wine and Spirits Company (GWS), and served as its president until 1999, when he was chosen as the Businessman of the Year. He was first elected to the Georgian parliament in 1999 on the list of the then ruling Citizen’s Union of Georgia (CUG); he was also elected chairman of the economic policy at the parliament. At the time Mr. Gachechiladze was Saakashvili’s election campaign coordinator. In 2001 he split with former president Eduard Shevardnadze’s CUG and formed the opposition New Rights Party, led together with David Gamkrelidze. However, he split with New Rights in later 2003 when other party leaders did not support the Rose Revolution that brought Saakashvili into the presidency. The following year he was elected to the parliament as an independent, running in the Tbilisi’s Vake single-mandate constituency. Mr. Gachechiladze became actively involved with the opposition last November, when he demanded President Saakashvili’s resignation.
Official Website: http://www.hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=hudson_upcoming_events&id=613
Added by insideronline on September 26, 2008