Profile: Six candidates campaigning for Georgian presidential election

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A total of six candidates are campaigning for the 2013 Georgian presidential election scheduled for October 27, and the winner will succeed incumbent President Mikheil Saakashvili as the new top leader of the South Caucasus country.

The following are sketches of the six candidates:

-- Giorgi Margvelashvili was nominated by the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia coalition, though he does not belong to any of the six constituent parties of the ruling coalition. He was born on Nov. 4, 1969. He served as the country's minister of education and science from 2010 to 2012. In February 2013, he became first deputy prime minister. He was twice the rector of the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (2000-2006 and 2010-2012). His political career began in 2003, and he was once an ally of Nino Burjanadze, the parliamentary chairwoman until 2008.

His performance in latest third-party public opinion polls:

NDI -- 39 percent

GQRR -- 43 percent

-- Davit Bakradze was one of the four candidates for presidential primaries run by the main opposition party, the United National Movement. He was born on July 1, 1972. He was the former parliamentary speaker (2008-2012) and is now the leader of the minority in the 150-seat legislature. He served as the country's minister for conflict issues (2007-2008), foreign minister (2008) and the Georgian president's special envoy to NATO and the European Union (2008). He became involved in politics in 1997.

His performance in latest third-party public opinion polls:

NDI -- 18 percent

GQRR -- 22 percent

-- Nino Burjanadze, born on July 16, 1964, self-proclaimed her candidacy from the opposition party, the Democratic Movement-United Georgia. She served as parliamentary speaker from 2001 to 2008 and twice served briefly as acting head of state during the Eduard Shevardnadze and Mikheil Saakashvili reigns (2003-2004 and 2007-2008). She was an ally of Saakashvili up until 2008 but orchestrated an opposition protest against him in Tbilisi in May 2011. She entered politics in 1995 as an MP.

Her performance in latest third-party public opinion polls:

NDI -- 7 percent

GQRR -- 8 percent

-- Shalva Natelashvili, born on Feb. 17, 1958, was nominated by the opposition Georgian Labor Party. He is the founder and leader of the party. He served in the parliamentary group compiling the constitution. He was accused in 2007 of spying for Russia. He entered politics in 1992 as an MP (1992-1999).

His performance in latest third-party public opinion polls:

NDI -- 3 percent

-- Giorgi Targamadze, born on Nov. 22, 1973, was nominated by opposition party the Christian-Democratic Movement. He is the leader of the party, which was founded in 2008. He has been an MP since 1999 and led a parliamentary minority from 2008 to 2012. His party failed to clear the 5-percent threshold in the 2012 legislative polls, but his party still has representatives in all municipal councils throughout the country. He entered politics in 1999.

His performance in latest third-party public opinion polls:

NDI -- 3 percent

-- Koba Davitashvili, born on July 31, 1971, is leader of the Georgian Peoples Party. He was elected an MP on the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia coalition card but defected later.

His performance in latest third-party public opinion polls:

NDI -- 1 percent


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