Chkheidze, Nikolai

Chkheidze, Nikolai Semenovich


(also Karlo Chkheidze). Born 1864 in the village of Puti, in what is now Zestafoni Raion, Georgian SSR; died 1926 in Paris. Menshevik leader.

Chkheidze became involved in the social-democratic movement in the late 1890’s. He represented Tiflis Province as a deputy to the Third State Duma of 1907–12 and the Fourth State Duma of 1912–17 and served as chairman of the latter’s Menshevik faction. During World War I he was a centrist; he favored worker participation in the war industries committees and opposed the national-liberation movement in Georgia.

After the February Revolution of 1917, Chkheidze was a member of the Provisional Committee of the State Duma, chairman of the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, and chairman of the first convocation of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. While invested with the authority of the soviets, he sought to conceal the counterrevolutionary nature of the policies of the bourgeois Provisional Government. He took part in the State Conference in Moscow in 1917.

After the October Revolution of 1917, Chkheidze served as chairman of the counterrevolutionary Transcaucasian Seim of 1918. In 1919 he became chairman of the Constituent Assembly, which was the Menshevik government of Georgia. Chkheidze emigrated in 1921.