Georgia’s Saakashvili has another challenger

TBILISI, Georgia: A leading Georgian opposition party is putting forth its leader to challenge President Mikhail Saakashvili.

Labor Party leader Shalva Natelashvili’s decision comes as opposition groups struggle to force Saakashvili to hold new elections.

Natelashvili said Wednesday that Saakashvili is a “living political corpse” but warned that the opposition is still too fractured.

Georgians rallied around Saakashvili during last summer’s war with Russia, but many fault him for having entered a conflict Georgia could not win.

The U.S.-educated lawyer has repeatedly said he intends to serve through the end of his term in 2013.

Former parliamentary Speaker Nino Burdzhanadze, who has also announced her candidacy, has called on Saakashvili to step down by April 9 or face mass protests.

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