Kaladze way: Samtredia-Kyiv-Milan-Tbilisi

  • PhotoNodarTskhvirashvili

    Photo: Nodar Tskhvirashvili

TBILISI -  According to preliminary data, the candidate of the Georgian ‘Dream Party’ Kakha Kaladze, became the tenth mayor for the period of Georgia's independence and the third in direct vote.

Kaladze’s colleagues and supporters of the party evaluate him as a successful man and a symbol of victory. The victory and successful future of mayor began with football.

Kakha Kaladze was born on February 27, 1978 in the city Samtredia. At the age of 11, Kaladze became the forward of the youth soccer team ‘Lokomotiv’ Samtredia.

In 1993, Kakha moved to the Tbilisi ‘Dynamo’, where he made his debut in 1993-1994 at the age of 16 years. For five years he played 82 games and scored one goal, thus winning five titles of the champion of Georgia.

In early 1998, Kaladze moved to the Kyiv ‘Dynamo’, Lobanovsky’s team. He signed a four-year contract. For the transfer of the player was given only 280 thousand euros.

For 2,5 years in ‘Dynamo’ Kaladze played in 63 games and became the main defender of the club. Kaladze also appeared in both matches of the 1998-99 UEFA Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich, in which Dynamo Kyiv was defeated 4-3 in the aggregate of two matches. On the way to the semi-finals, they won such teams as Real Madrid and Arsenal. Kaladze won eight titles in a row during his stay in Dynamo (Tbilisi) and Dynamo (Kyiv).

Since January 2001 Kaladze was a player of the Italian ‘Milan’. He was paid 16 million euros for the defender, so he became the most expensive football player of Georgia in history.

He was a player of the football club ‘Milan’ for nine years. Kaladze again was named the best Georgian player of the year. He was also captain of the Georgian national team.

In 2012, Kakha Kaladze came into politics with the party ‘Georgian Dream’. He became a deputy at the parliamentary elections in 2012, where he soon moved to the executive branch. For 5 years - from 2012 to 2017 he was Minister of Energy and Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia.

‘Georgian Dream’ officially presented 39 year old Kakha Kaladze as candidate for mayor of Tbilisi. His slogan was ‘Tbilisi is a city full of life.’

Kaladze often recalls two own goals, the support of Mikhail Saakashvili and an agreement signed with Russia's Gazprom. And the opposition often talks about business interests in Tbilisi and not only in the Georgian capital.

Kakha Kaladze states that he went through many difficulties, and this gives him more incentive to help those in need.

‘When I arrived in Tbilisi, I was a little boy, I did not have a home, I lived with my aunt in the Gldani district. Then I was in the third team of the Tbilisi ‘Dynamo’, because I was considered as young guy who has no future in football. Every day I had to travel from Gldani, went down to the metro station ‘Akhmeteli’, went to the station ‘Didube’ and had to go very far on foot to the ‘Digomi’ training base.

“After training, my father came and brought me a loaf of bread, one of our friends had a bakery nearby and he gave us one by one each day. It was a very difficult period. My father always gave me most of the bread. I understood everything and tried to act always like a father, I am grateful to God that I had to go through all of this, now I have more incentive and zeal to help those who need it,” Kakha Kaladze stated during the summing up of the election campaign.

In the life of the future, the measure was a great tragedy. On May 23, 2001, Kakha Kaladze's brother Levan Kaladze, a fourth year student of the Dental Faculty, was kidnapped for extorting money. After several years of waiting and searching, Levan's body was found in the Vazisubani Valley in January 2006.

A 39-year-old former football player, former deputy, former minister and future mayor has a wife and three children. According to the declaration, Kaladze owns real estate and land plots not only in Georgia, but also in Ukraine. In Georgia and Ukraine there are several business partners. In addition to real estate, Kaladze has an expensive car park, a Harley Davidson 3 motorcycle, as well as drawings by Elena Akhvlediani and Gudiashvili.

It is also well known that Kakha Kaladze transferred salaries for ministerial positions to charity.

The Tbilisi Mayor was appointed by President of Georgia since 1991. On October 12, 2006, the Mayor of Tbilisi was elected by representative body of Tbilisi. For the first time in the history of Georgia on May 30, 2010, local self-government elections were held. The Mayor of Tbilisi was elected by the direct voting system.

The positions of the mayor of Tbilisi were occupied by: Tamaz Vashadze - 1991 - 1992, Otar Litanishvili -1992- 1993, Kote Gabashvili - 1993 -1993 gg Nikoloz Lekishvili - 1993 - 1995, Badri Shoshitaishvili -1995 - 1998, Ivan Zodelava - 1998-2004 year, Zurab Chiaberashvili-2004 - 2004, Gigi Ugulava -2005-2006, 2006-2010, 2010-2013.

From December 22, 2014 to August 2, 2014, the acting mayor was Sevdia Ugrekhelidze. August 2, 2014 the mayor of Tbilisi, after the second round of elections, became the candidate of the party ‘Georgian Dream’ David Narmania.

On October 21, 2017, the majority of Tbilisi voters trusted Kakha Kaladze, who will head the capital for four years.

‘We see all the problems related to the city today, and we know well what to do tomorrow and the day after tomorrow to solve these problems. You will not be alone in this battle, I want you to believe that I can help you, strength is in unity. We will be able to solve these problems together,” Kaladze said after the end of the election.

‘A city filled with life’ -with this slogan Kaladze’s election campaign began. Only after the official election results we could see whether mayor Kaladze would be successful or not.

Front News International, Tbilisi

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