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UNM nominates the majoritarian candidate in Isani district

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, August 28
The United National Movement has nominated Khatia Dekanoidze as the majoritarian candidate in Isani.

According to one of the members of the party, Salome Samadashvili, the political reality has changed, Vashadze’s chances of victory have lowered after he decided to crack the united opposition and that’s why they decided to run their candidacy here.

On July 27th, Giorgi Vashadze and Tako Charkviani left the coalition of political parties, Power in Unity, and presented a new political platform, Strategy Builder. According to them, the strategy builder unites 2 subjects at this stage - New Georgia and Law and Justice.

After leaving the coalition, Vashadze was criticized by some of the UN members. Among them, the leader of the party, Mikheil Saakashvili, assessed his departure as a move to the ‘dark side’. In response, Vashadze photoshopped himself as a Star Wars character and posted that he would defeat the dark force.

As for the majoritarian candidates, Giorgi Vashadze was named among the general candidates of the opposition union before he left Power in Unity.

Dekanoidze explained that if Vashadze remained in the united opposition, he would be the agreed candidate of the opposition, but now, the political reality has changed and the UNM has nominated its candidate.

According to her, Vashadze left the united opposition and it was a wrong decision, and she also assessed Vashadze's announcement as the Prime Minister as a wrong step.

Vashadze, the leader of ‘Strategy Builder,’ says that the ‘National Movement’ violated the agreement. According to him, the party is trying to play political games inside the united opposition. The leader of European Georgia, Gigi Ugulava, says that their party remains committed to the general agreement of the opposition parties and will continue to support Vashadze. Labor Party leader, Shalva Natelashvili says the change of common candidate is not debatable, since the consensus has already been reached.

One month before Dekanoidze was nominated as a candidate, on July 19, the Opposition Unity, which included the United National Movement, European Georgia, the Labor Party, and other parties, nominated Giorgi Vashadze as the general candidate in Isani. A few weeks ago, Vashadze's party left Power is in Unity and nominated its candidate in Saburtalo constituency. It was from this time that the National Movement talked about nominating its candidates.

It’s noteworthy that the leader of the UNM, Mikheil Saakashvili released a video on Facebook, named ‘I’m coming back!’. In the clip, he says that 7 years was enough time to think and re-evaluate many issues.

Saakashvili says he deeply appreciates the people who took part in the historical process of building a successful Georgian state: "In the last 7 years there has not been a single day that I do not take interest of the news and know exactly that my work as President was successful and a lot of things that we have created it, it is preserved and it works today, but at the same time when I hear the news of Georgia, I know that we can live much stronger, much better and every Georgian can be rich and that will bring us together! I'm coming back!”

The UNM Chairman Roman Gotsiridze does not rule out that the party will nominate Saakashvili as a candidate for prime minister. He said Saakashvili's response was awaited before making this decision. Dekanoidze says that it is completely logical for Saakashvili to be nominated as Prime Minister in case of their victory. European Georgia leader Giga Bokeria says he will not support the nomination of former President Saakashvili as a candidate for prime minister.

The third president of Georgia, the former head of the Odessa regional administration, who is currently a citizen of Ukraine, has been chairing the Ukrainian Reform Executive Committee since May 2020. Before his appointment, Saakashvili's candidacy was considered Ukraine's vice-premier but was not supported by a majority of members of President Zelensky's ‘People's Servant’ parliamentary faction.

After Volodymyr Zelensky appointed Saakashvili as head of the Reform Committee, Tbilisi recalled an ambassador from Kyiv for consultations. The Georgian government said at the time that the issue of the strategic partnership with Ukraine was not subject to review, even though the appointment of Saakashvili, a convict in Georgia, raised questions.

Saakashvili is a person wanted by the Georgian Dream government. He has been sentenced in absentia in Georgia for the death of Sandro Girgvliani and the beating of MP Valeri Gelashvili.