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Former UNM member says he discussed his decision with former President

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, May 10
A former member of the United National Movement (UNM) party who has recently quit the party, Giorgi Vashadze, claims he discussed his decision with ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili.

“I spoke with Saakashvili and he told me that I had to take time and think before leaving the party. However, I think that my decision is right. I had enough time to think about it. The UNM needs changes and my decision will be one of those changes,” stated Vashadze.

He added that Saakashvili is a good leader and one of the signs is that he always gives freedom to his people.

“He never ever limits people. He is not afraid of competition. He knows his position in the UNM and in politics. People who are afraid of other individuals’ success are not sure of their own abilities,” stated Vashadze.

Saakashvili made his own statement and said that Vashadze’s decision was not right.

“I was told that he was going to leave the party and make his own organization. I had thought that he would change his mind, because he is a clever and talented person, but his decision is counterproductive and wrong,” stated Saakashvili.

Vashadze made his decision to leave the party on May 5.

His step was evaluated negatively by UNM members. They connected Vashadze’s decision with the UNM’s election list, where Vashadze was not among the top ten. However, Vashadze said he had a ‘guaranteed place in the list’, but old faces of the party hindered the party's advancement.

“His action was very irresponsible. We are all fighting against Georgian Dream’s (GD) regime. To win this fight, even the leaders of the UNM must give their places in the election list to those who can assist us in this fight. Vashadze was just offended and that is why he made his decision,” stated Sergo Ratiani.

However, political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze stated that there is an interparty conflict between old and new members of the UNM.

“The UNM needs to change its political approach. They must understand that old members should share political power with newer ones. If the leaders will not change anything, I assume that some other members may also leave the party,” stated Sakvarelidze.