Giorgi Chanturia

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Giorgi Chanturia (August 19, 1959 - December 3, 1994) was a Georgian politician and the National Democratic Party leader who was murdered in Tbilisi, Georgia in December 1994.

He entered national politics by reviving the Georgian National Democratic Party (NDP) as an informal anti-Communist oppositional organization in 1981. He was arrested several times by the Soviet authorities. By the end of the 80s, he became one of the leaders of national movement along with Merab Kostava and Zviad Gamsakhurdia. The conflict in South Ossetia split the opponents of the Communists – but only to a small degree. Although Gamsakhurdia and Chanturia did not agree on how to deal with the secessionist demands of the Ossetians, they were both more opposed to the Communists and continuing membership of the USSR.

In the 1990 elections the umbrella Round Table-Free Georgia bloc led by Gamsakhurdia and Chanturia won 54% of the vote. In April 1991, Georgia declared independence from the Soviet Union. Soon Zviad Gamsakhurdia was elected as the first President of Georgia. However, Gamsakhurdia’s move towards authoritarianism made many of his former allies, including Chanturia, to join the opposition.

The opposition to Gamsakhurdia, now joined in an uneasy coalition behind former Prime Minister Tengiz Sigua and the National Guard leader Tengiz Kitovani demanded that Gamsakhurdia resign and call new parliamentary elections. Gamsakhurdia refused to compromise, and his troops forcibly dispersed a large...
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