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Respected Labor Party Member Resigns after Leader's Controversial Speech

By Salome Modebadze
Friday, October 21
Nestan Kirtadze, International Secretary of the Labor Party left the party but continues participation in political processes. As Kirtadze told The Messenger on Thursday, her decision was prompted by the statement made by the Labor Party’s leader Shalva Natelashvili against Bidzina Ivanishvili in recent days who claimed the latter was an American stooge. Having talked about the ongoing political situation in Georgia, the former party member briefly discussed each detail of Natelashvili’s statement. “I respect Natelashvili but don’t share his position. As a scholar, professor, and analyst I have other responsibilities different from any leader or activist while the statement made by Natelashvili on the party’s behalf was absolutely unacceptable for me,” Kirtadze told us.

Natelashvili’s statement was also assessed as support towards the ruling United National Movement (UNM)’s regime by some people. “Such kinds of statement may encourage the current government to continue the open terror in the country,” Kirtadze explained.

Emphasizing Ivanishvili’s pro-American orientation, Natelashvili accused the businessman of being sent by the US to replace the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili at the presidential elections in 2013. As the leader of the Labor Party stated, Washington had made Georgia its colony since the Rose Revolution in 2003 and now had found a new candidate for presidency. Feeling pessimistic about the possible changes after Ivanishvili’s entrance into the political playground Natelashvili continued assaulting those who cooperate with the businessman. “I would like to ask Ivanishvili to give triple premiums to those mercenary beggars who scold the Labor Party,” Natelashvili said in a statement.

Kirtadze discouraged Natelashvili from these comments and stressed the importance of deepening cooperation with local and international friends. Apologizing for Natelashvili’s “vague labeling”, Kitradze found it unacceptable to use improper language about Ivanishvili. “A person with such great merit for the country who has unselfishly assisted people and built the cathedral of the millennium - Saint Trinity - shouldn’t be talked about in such an improper manner,” Kirtadze said stressing that each political leader’s platform for speaking belonged to the people.

Kirtadze, who plans to meet Bidzina Ivanishvili in the near future, has yet to define her plans. Stressing the necessity for creating a united democratic front with people able to change the current situation in Georgia, the former International Secretary of the Labor Party said she cannot simply stay home and observe the ongoing political processes as a spectator. “We, [politicians] have to ensure democracy instead of authoritarianism, to realise the hopes of our people and give a chance for future prosperity through a united strategy, not confrontation,” Kirtadze told The Messenger. Hesitating to name the particular date of her meeting with Ivanishvili, Kirtadze promised to share her future steps straight after the meeting.

Kirtadze's attitude has remained consistent. She told the media on October 5, that Ivanishvili’s political decision would “change the rules of the game” both in domestically and internationally and hoped that Ivanishvili’s appearance would become the precondition for the ending of “authoritarianism”.

“The Labor Party isn’t a newly established team, thus Kirtadze’s resignation won’t harm the party, although it would just be a pity to lose a friend and a companion,” Labor Party member Paata Jibladze stated. Expressing great respect towards the decision of the former International Secretary of Labor Party, Jibladze wished her success in future.