Presidential candidate Gia Maisashvili, the leader of Party of Future, said he would support Mikheil Saakashvili in the event of a second-round run-off against “oligarch” Badri Patarkatsishvili.
“We may face a choice between bad and worse,” Maisashvili said at a campaign meeting with academics on November 30. “If the oligarch [referring to Badri Patarkatsishvili] and Mikheil Saakashvili succeed in the first round of polls, everybody should know that although Mikheil Saakashvili is unacceptable for me, if the oligarch goes head to head with him, I will support Saakashvili.”
Maisashvili’s remarks were given top priority by the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB), with four minutes being devoted to the story on the station's main evening news.
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 Rose 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.” He then established a movement, Government of the Future. Maisashvili had, until recently, been politically inactive since then and had been seen on the Georgian political scene only occasionally.
In July, however, he established a political party, Party of Future, and announced his intention to run for the presidency. He launched his election campaign shortly after Saakashvili called for early presidential elections.