Giuliani Weighs In On Race For Mayor (In Ukraine)

NEW YORK, NY -- Who would have guessed that the next chapter in Rudolph W. Giuliani’s life would involve political consulting for a local election in Eastern Europe?

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R), gestures, as he talks to the press along with Vitali Klitschko, former WBO world champion heavy weight boxer at the NASDAQ market site, Wednesday, May 7, 2008 in New York.

Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor and former presidential candidate, called a news conference this morning in Times Square to appear beside Vitalil Klitschko, a former boxing and kick-boxing champion who is running for mayor of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.

Calling Mr. Giuliani “a huge name,” Mr. Klitschko, 36, said he hoped to make Kiev a modern city “like Paris, like London, like New York.”

Mr. Giuliani said Mr. Klitschko’s campaign had approached his company “several weeks ago,” seeking advice on policies to combat corruption.

Neither Mr. Giuliani nor Mr. Klitschko would disclose how much the Ukrainian candidate’s campaign is paying the former mayor or his company, Giuliani Partners, but Mr. Giuliani said that his staff members would be traveling to Kiev for three days next week and would release a report about what lessons in anticorruption Kiev can draw from the experience of other cities, including New York.

“They need a leader like you who can deal with corruption, who can deal with reform of government, which is so necessary,” Mr. Giuliani told Mr. Klitschko.

Then the former mayor digressed a bit, saying he could not have imagined “a more appropriate place” to hold the news conference than the ground-floor television studio of Nasdaq, near the corner of Broadway and 43rd Street. “Nasdaq is part of what I was talking about with you earlier: the rejuvenation of Times Square,” Mr. Giuliani reminded Mr. Klitschko.

“Reform is possible if you have the right candidate and the right set of ideas,” Mr. Giuliani said. “Kiev can accomplish this. It needs a leader who is determined to do it and a leader who has shown success in so many other areas.”

He said Mr. Klitschko reminded him of his successor, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California — both of whom were new to politics when they ran for office.

In March 2006, after announcing his retirement from boxing, Mr. Klitschko campaigned for mayor of Kiev on an anticorruption platform.

That May, he finished second to Leonid Chernovetsky in a crowded race, winning about 25 percent of the vote.

As he campaigns again in a new election, scheduled for May 25, polls suggest that he is gaining support.

Source: The New York Times