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Ex-President Saakashvili Urges Opposition to Unite Against the Ruling Party

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, May 1
Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili calls on the parliamentary minority, European Georgia to unite against the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party.

Saakashvili made the statement after the results of the by-elections in West Georgia’s Vani and Khoni municipalities were known, according to which, the ruling GD party candidate Givi Chichinadze won the race and European Georgia candidate, Gigi Ugulava came the second.

Ex-President stated he would have been glad if Ugulava won but added he had no chance to overcome the ruling party.

“It will be good if Ugulava and his party members joined us in order to expel the Schulers from the government, "Saakashvili said.

European Georgia consists of the former members of Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM) party, which officially split into two in January, 2017, after the internal disagreement.

38 Heads of UNM municipal and regional organizations, 21 MPs, also part of the council members decided to leave the party and formed European Georgia.

On April 28, several members of the other opposition parties visited Saakashvili in Amsterdam, where he currently lives because he is wanted for various charges in Georgia.

As reported by media, the meeting participants agreed to form an opposition unity before the Presidential elections to be held in October, 2018.

According to the participants, they have launched consultations with other parties and there will be several more meetings before the final formation of the coalition.

Georgia’s opposition-minded Rustavi 2 TV reports that Bachuki Kardava, leader of the National Democratic Party, Paata Davitaia, Chairperson of European Democrats of Georgia, Paata Manjgaladze, Political Secretary of New Georgia, as well as Shota Malashkhia, Zurab Kharatishvili and several other opposition politicians attended the meeting.

Mamuka Gamkrelidze, founder of New Unity for Georgia, said the opposition representatives agreed that opposition parties existing in Georgia should not confront each-other, in order to defeat the “informal governing” of Bidzina Ivanishvili, founder of the GD party and ex-Prime Minister of Georgia.

The opposition parties also agreed that the changes in Georgia should start with presidential elections.