( Civil ) - Labor Party has announced that it wanted its leader, Shalva Natelashvili, to run for the January 5 snap presidential elections.
"Labor Party's political council [party's decision-making body] has decided to nominate Shalva Natelashvili as a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections," Soso Shatberashvili of the Labor Party said at a news conference on November 12.
The General Prosecutor's Office said on November 9 that Natelashvili would face charges for espionage and conspiracy to overthrow the government. The next day it, however, softened stance and said "investigators have decided to question Natelashvili as a witness." President Saakashvili said on November 10 that Natelashvili would not be arrested and he could "freely run for the presidency."
Natelashvili, his party activists say, was "poisoned with tear gas" on November 7, when riot police dispersed demonstrators, and was undergoing medical treatment at an undisclosed location. "He will make a statement for local and international media in next few days," Shatberashvili said.
Labor Party's announcement is yet another sign of crack in a ten-party opposition coalition. Other leaders from this coalition said on November 12 that they have not yet decided who would be their single candidate for the presidential elections.
The first sign of crack in the coalition appeared on November 10, when only five opposition parties (with two of them not part of the ten-party coalition) have launched talks with the authorities, with the remaining opposition parties being sidelined.