Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze announced yesterday on radio that he would ask law enforcement bodies to henceforth investigate “libelous accusations” against the state leadership and call their authors to account. “The cup of my patience is drying up,” Shevardnadze warned. He accused unnamed “slanderers” of trying to stir up a “manipulatable chaos” of the kind that the country experienced in 1991-94. Political destabilization would in turn doom Georgia’s economic development plans, Shevardnadze warned. (Radio Tbilisi, July 6)
The warning apparently responds to inflammatory leftist and Ajar attacks on the governing Union of Georgian Citizens and the parliamentary leadership, and obliquely against Shevardnadze. The recent congress of the Revival Union, the ruling party of Ajaria, provided a scene for such attacks. It signaled the emergence of an ad-hoc coalition comprised of the Ajar leadership, the Georgian Socialist Party of Vahtang Rcheulishvili, the “Laboristi” group led by Shalva Natelashvili, and possibly the United Communist Party under Panteleimon Giorgadze. This constellation of forces seems to be taking shape in preparation for next year’s parliamentary elections.
SENIOR DEFENSE OFFICIAL AND BISHOP IMPLICATED IN ARMENIAN CORRUPTION AFFAIR.