Grigol Vashadze, a former presidential candidate of the United National Movement who served as foreign minister, has been elected as the new chairperson of the United National Movement opposition, of the party which ran Georgia between 2003 and 2012.
Grigol Vashadze Becomes New Chairman of United National Movement
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, March 26
The founder of the party, ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili nominated Vashadze to replace him on the role, as he is wanted by law enforcers and refuses to return to Georgia.
The voting was held at the eighth congress of the party on Sunday.
364 delegates voted for Grigol Vashadze, one voted against and one abstained.
The process was conducted through a new method.
The delegates used a cell phone application to vote.
Vashadze thanked Saakashvili for his confidence and support.
He claimed that Saakashvili will always be the main figure of the party.
“I want to emphasize one thing. I heard as if Saakashvili is leaving the party and similar nonsenses. Saakashvili is the founder of this party, the leader of the party, and all changes in the structure of the National Movement take place with his initiative.
“Because we are entering a hard political period, the party needs a much more effective management system, and the party leader was the first who felt this,” Vashadze said.
Saakashvili stated in his Facebook address video that National Movement needs a leader at the place and he would personally support Vashadze’s candidacy.
Party management was named as one of the main reasons why several top figures left the United National Movement after the 2016 parliamentary elections and created the European Georgia opposition party.