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Verulashvili explains her decision of leaving UNM

By Keti Arjevanidze
Thursday, April 18
After two month of silence, Marika Verulashvili unveiled the reasons of her leaving the United National Movement (UNM) on April 17. Former MP of the Kvareli region and UNM member, Verulashvili left the party on February 4 without making any official comments about her decision.

At that time Verulashvili’s step caused confrontation among the politicians. UNM members stated that the reason that made their former team member leave the UNM was the political pressure on behalf of the Georgian Dream. President Saakashvili had then said that Verulashvili was forced to quit the UNM, otherwise threatened with the arrest of her husband. However, on April 17, Verulashvili denied receiving any pressure from the ruling team.

Verulashvili explained that it was her personal decision to leave the UNM. She clarified that Vano Merabishvili the Secretary General of UNM should be blamed for the UNM’s defeat in the October 2012 parliamentary elections, adding that Merabishvili should not have been considered as UNM Secretary General after this kind of failure.

“It was a difficult decision for me, because I was a member from the very first day of the establishment of this party, but I think it is a crime to stand next to Merabishvili,” Verulashvili stated.

Verulashvili in her statement also referred to the recent Facebook post by Data Akhalaia, former chief of the constitutional security department, stressing this letter is not connected with the April 19 rally which UNM announced two months prior.

Akhalaia released a post via Facebook accusing the current general secretary of the UNM in various criminal actions, including the creation and transfer of prison torture footage and the Lapankuri special operation.

Verulashvili said it is Akhalaia’s “deserving present” to Merabishvili who recently had a birthday. “I think Merabishvili is not used to listening to the truth, but he will still face a lot of surprises,” said Verulashvili.

The former MP also revealed that Roland Akhalaia, father of Data and Bacho Akhalaia, is also going to leave the party.

UNM Secretary General Merabishvili responded to Verulashvili’s accusations. According to him, many people cannot get over the pressure and blackmail. However, he said the main core of the UNM remains unchanged and “friends will stand together.”

“Because resistance makes us strong, this gives us more experience, in order to avoid mistakes,” he said.

Merabishvili also added that a lot of statements have been made against him and did not exclude their existence in the future as well. “But this is not a political method,” he said.