Georgian Labour Party
|Headquarters||I. Javakhishvili 88, Tbilisi|
|Youth wing||Labour Youth|
|Women's wing||Labourist Women in Georgia|
In 1995, Natelashvili established the first political entity – Georgian Labour Party (GLP). Since its inception the GLP turned into an influential political force in the country. It won a series of court trials, which resulted in the legalization of free secondary school nationwide, the reduction of electricity tariff for three years and won many other legal battles, which improved social conditions of the Georgian population. In connection to this, the party sees that many issues have to be solved to improve the situation in the country, including the development of democratic political processes. The party has a socialist orientation; its platform emphasised social guarantees, including free public services and education, alongside increased state intervention to protect small businesses. GLP has never joined any other political blocs or alliances and always runs for Parliament independently. However, the GLP is currently supporting the creation of a coalition government in Georgia. The cornerstone of the party ideology is to introduce democratic principles, to restore fair justice, to protect human rights and free trade market. Its main goal is to make Georgia a democratic country and eventually to become a member of the European Union. Also the priority of Labor Party is to develop the policy of regional neighbor-relationships.
1998 Local Elections
In 1998, the GLP garnered 17 percent of the votes and ended up second in the parliamentary elections where 40 percent of the Georgian population participated. However, the GLP was not allowed to use its parliamentary mandate, even though the OSCE had confirmed that the GLP won the elections. In 1998, the GLP won 20 percent of the votes in the local self-government elections, and it received 26 percent of the votes municipal elections four years later in 2002
1999 Parliament Elections
In 1999 the parliamentary elections were held in Georgia. Despite the fact that Labor Party overcame the 7% threshold, it was left outside the parliament. This is confirmed by the OSCE report (see Parliamentary elections, 31 October & 14 November 1999, Final Report, Warsaw, 7 February 2000).
A big success in elections of 2002
The GLP achieved a big success in the parliamentary elections of 2002 where Natelashvili’s party won the majority seats in Tbilisi City Assembly (Tbilisi Sakrebulo), it received 26%.
2003 Parliament Elections
In November 2003, 20 members of our party, who had lawfully gained 12.04 percent of votes, were dismissed from Parliament, as Mikheil Saakashvili staged a coup d’état (Rose Revolution) and raided the first session of the newly elected Parliament. The fresh elections on March 28, 2004 were conducted with a number of grave election irregularities and we were again obstructed to enter the Parliament. Mikheil Saakashvili had even declared before the election took place that he would not allow the counter-revolutionists like Georgian Labour Party to enter Parliament.
2008 Parliament Elections
Georgian Labor Party appealed these processes in Strasbourg-based European Court for Human Rights which issued its decision on July 8, 2008 concluding that these developments were unlawful and violated the respective Convention of Human Rights. Furthermore, for the first time in the international law it recognized Georgian Labour Party as victim of the regime of the Georgian government. On May 21, 2008, after Parliamentary elections, Georgian Labour Party overcome threshold and got parliamentary group, the GLP received 7.4% of the popular vote.
On 1 October 2012, the Georgian entrepreneur Bidzina Ivanishvili seized power in Tbilisi and the attacks and pressure on the Georgian Labour Party mounted. The political repercussions are steered by Ivanishvili himself, the de facto ruler of the country, who was blaming Shalva Natelashvili (Leader of Georgian Labour Party) for having a clandestine alliance with former president of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili.
Georgian Labour Party has been victim of persecution on political grounds in recent years. A number of its members have been dismissed from jobs and many had to leave Georgia and request political asylum abroad.
Charges and assassination attempts against Shalva Natelashvili
The political leadership and the leader of the Party himself Shalva Natelashvili have particularly suffered from the harassment by the dictatorial regime. Since 2004 Shalva Natelashvili has faced criminal prosecution as he was charged with: High treason; Extremism; Spying for foreign countries; Government overthrow; Money laundering; Instigating mass unrest; Mutiny. But none of these charges were confirmed and were dropped ultimately.
Furthermore, Shalva Natelashvili survived several assassination attempts, including a blast at the Georgian Labour Party’s head office, which killed party activist Nino Giorgobiani 58. Walls, window glasses and ceiling are ruined, One of the guards was injured. In addition, four people, including one child, were hurt and taken to the hospital. The government of Georgia blamed the explosion on the Russian special services. The Georgian Labour Party is now among the top five political parties in Georgia. also during the infamous brutal crackdown on the peaceful rally on November 7, 2007 which was organized by Shalva Natelashvili. Special squads of the Georgian Security Ministry raided the office of the Party, his apartment located in Tbilisi and a house located outside Tbilisi. In consequence Shalva Natelashvili had to go into hiding until the international community stepped in and provided help. In the aftermath Shalva Natelashvili had to undergo urgent heart surgery in Vienna University clinic on January 30, 2008.
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