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Saakashvili Wants to Work as Presidential Adviser

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said he intended to remain in politics after stepping aside this fall, and he denied that he had broken an arm because of reckless bicycle riding.

Saakashvili, speaking on Georgian television channel Rustavi-2, said he would gladly offer his two terms of experience as president to work as an adviser to the next president.

"Of course, I will not work as a tractor driver. I would like to be appointed as a counselor to the next president," he said in comments carried by Interfax. "However, if that is unacceptable, I will remain active in the political life of the country."

He said that although he was a lawyer by profession, he did not intend to return to that line of work. "I plan to stay in politics and fight for the freedom and independence of the country," he said.

Saakashvili, who was first elected after the 2003 Rose Revolution, has to leave office by law when his current term ends in October. He said he had already received several job offers from international organizations but did not intend to leave Georgia.

Separately, Saakashvili defended his riding of a bicycle during a visit to Turkey earlier this month. He said he was traveling at 40 kilometers per hour on his morning bike ride when he hit a pothole.

"A good helmet saved me," he said. "As for the notion that I crashed into a truck, nothing of the sort happened."

He added that many world leaders rode bicycles.

"President George W. Bush and I once took a fairly long bike ride at a military base in the U.S.," he said.

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