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GEORGIAN PRESIDENT IN WASHINGTON
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili smiles at members of the press as enters the room to be welcomed to Capitol Hill by Representative Henry Hyde, R-IL, on February 24, 2004 in Wasington..(UPI Photo/Michael Kleinfeld)
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Mikheil Saakashvili (Georgian: მიხეილ სააკაშვილი, IPA: ; born 21 December 1967) is a Georgian politician, the third and current President of Georgia and leader of the United National Movement Party. Involved in the national politics since 1995, Saakashvili became president on 25 January 2004 after President Eduard Shevardnadze resigned in a November 2003 bloodless "Rose Revolution" led by Saakashvili and his political allies, Nino Burjanadze and Zurab Zhvania. Saakashvili was re-elected in the Georgian presidential election on 5 January 2008. He is widely regarded as a pro-NATO and pro-USA leader who spearheaded a series of political and economic reforms. In 2010, he had a 67% approval rating despite being criticized by the opposition for his alleged authoritarian tendencies and electoral fraud.

Some non-Georgian sources spell Saakashvili's first name via the Russian version of the name Mikhail. In Georgia, he is commonly known as "Misha," a hypocorism for Mikheil.

Mikheil Saakashvili was born in Tbilisi, capital of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in the Soviet Union, to a Georgian intelligentsia family. His father, Nikoloz Saakashvili, is a physician who practices medicine in Tbilisi and directs a local Balneological Center. His mother, Giuli Alasania, is a historian who lectures at Tbilisi State University.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mikheil Saakashvili."
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