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Topic - Irakli Alasania
Political opponents are accusing Georgia's president of trying to "play Putin" for seeking to become prime minister because of term limits barring his candidacy in next year's election — a ploy exploited by Russia's former and current president, Vladimir Putin.
The richest man in Georgia announced his intention to run for parliament in a move that threatens the political establishment, but found that his $50 million hilltop retreat offered no protection from the full-contact sport of Georgian politics.
Georgia's opposition leader is urging his country's president to "act as George Washington did" and retire from politics after serving two terms.
Mr. Alasania says 60 Georgian Dream party activists were arrested and detained on petty charges last week, a development described as troubling by Riccardo Migliori, president of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Parliamentary Assembly.
"What we are facing is a chance for Georgia to have the first-ever transfer of power through democratic elections," said Irakli Alasania, a former diplomat and Saakashvili ally who has joined the opposition. "But what he is doing now on the ground right now is completely the opposite."