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Natelashvili Lambastes Foreign Observers

Shalva Natelashvili addresses Labor Party congress in Tbilisi on May 17. Photo: InterPressNews

Shalva Natelashvili, the leader of Labor Party, said he does not trust international election observation mission and said international observers were “lobbyists of the Saakashvili’s regime.”

“Their [international observers’] conclusions [on electoral process] have destroyed this country,” Natelashvili said in a late-night political talk show, Primetime, aired by Rustavi 2 TV on May 19.

He also said that many international observers and officials including Bruce George, the Vice-President of NATO Parliamentary Assembly, who is currently in Georgia for the May 21 parliamentary elections, as well as Mathew Bryza, Mathew Bryza, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, were President Saakashvili’s “lobbyists to whom this regime is transferring money.” He also said that Bruce George was “unfortunately British Labor MP.”

“This is international gang,” he added.

Natelashvili also slammed planned exit polls and claimed that it was organized by the U.S. government-funded International Republican Institute (IRI). “Gang of Saakashvili’s supporters are gathered there [IRI],” Natelashvili said.

The Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA), Ilia Chavchavadze State University and two think-tanks – the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD) and the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS) plan to organize exit polls. All the major opposition parties have snubbed planned exit polls.

Natelashvili also said that he would accept and recognize election results, which would show real picture of public mood, which, he said, would be the first place for the Labor Party.


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