(BBC) Georgians will vote in local elections on Saturday, and this year there is quite an unusual candidate. Originally from the UK, Joseph Alexander Smith has spent the last five years living in Georgia, and is now campaigning for changes in his adopted country – all from the back of his bicycle.
It has been a rather unusual career change for the former librarian from London who is now an independent candidate in Georgia's forthcoming local and municipal elections.
Joseph Alexander Smith, 32, is the first Briton to run for office in the Tbilisi City Assembly.
He moved to Georgia after accidentally discovering "this weird country with its squiggly alphabet and its strange food such as bread stuffed with cheese". And like many first-time visitors, Mr Smith was quickly enchanted by Georgia.
He is campaigning in his electoral district of Saburtalo on his bicycle, going door to door and personally introducing himself to his potential voters. […]
But political analyst Kornely Kakachia, from the Georgian Institute of Politics thinks this may not be enough to get him elected.
"Even though Georgia is heading towards the European Union and the so-called Europeanisation process has just started, I don't think our society is yet ready to see this kind of candidate, this is a very new thing for them." […]
But, says Mr. Kakachia, there is a fatigue among the Georgian public which is fed up with old players in politics and is desperate to see new faces, which might give candidates like Mr Smith a slight chance. […]
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