Ex-soccer star Kakha Kaladze has scored his biggest win on Georgia's political field by getting elected as Tbilisi mayor, the main prize in the country's October 21 municipal polls and a potential springboard to higher political office.
Though the election registered considerable voter apathy in Georgia, the victory prompted enthusiasm in Italy, once Kaladze's soccer home base.
The Italian salutations included Kaladze’s former AC Milan buddies. “Congratulations to the new mayor of Tbilisi, I am so happy for you!” football legend Paolo Maldini wrote on Facebook. Even Silvio Berlusconi phoned to offer his best, said Kaladze’s party, the ruling Georgian Dream.
Kaladze appears to have won this one without a playoff. Preliminary results give him over 51 percent of the vote. Runoffs are pending in several cities, including Georgia’s second-largest city, Kutaisi, where no candidate garnered the required 50 percent of votes.
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