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The daring Natelashvili2009-03-05 16:13
In Georgia a new aspiring president has emerged. On 4th March the Labour party put forward its leader, Shalva Natelashvili, as its candidate.
"In this difficult time for Georgia, when it is becoming necessary to change the regime in order to save the country, the Georgian Labour party is taking responsibility for its homeland and its people, and is putting forward the candidacy of our political leader, Shalva Natelashvili, who is vehemently opposed to the current regime, to be the next president," Rosbalt quotes the party's official statement.
This means that even before the possible announcement of early elections in Georgia, there are already three politicians aspiring to occupy the post of president. Previously, the "Alliance for Georgia" put forward Irakli Alasania as their candidate. And from the very moment of her "second coming" back into politics, the leader of the "Democratic movement - A United Georgia" party, Nino Burjanadze, has been saying that she will be fighting for the presidential seat. There is a strong basis to her ambitions - she has twice been acting president, in 2003 and 2007.
But let's return to the Labour leader. It should be noted that Natelashvili's party has always kept itself aloof, since it has never joined the united opposition, but has played a significant role in the movement of Georgian dissenters. Their demand for Saakashvili's impeachment evoked a large response. Back in February, Shalva Natelashvili declared in his typically peremptory way:
"Any self-respecting president who has lost territory, if he did not take his own life, would at the very least resign," he was quoted as saying by the Regnum news agency. "Saakashvili is a political corpse, and debates aren't carried out with the deceased."
Any statement from Natelashvili is really like a snappy newspaper headline. The Labour party leader stands out for his directness, making no concessions to political correctness. Hence, according to "Ossetian radio", very recently he called his now rival Irakli Alasania "Misha-2" at the drop of a hat, adding that he was "a figure packaged in Washington who had been sent to Georgia to become president". He also insulted Nino Burjanadze, as in his opinion, she is viewed by the States as a "back-up option".
It's hard to say which of Natelashvili's statements are true, and which aren't. But almost all media publications immediately latch onto them, and every time he confirms his reputation as an especially colourful politician.