The messenger logo

Tbilisi Ex-Mayor explains causes of UNM split

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, January 17
A former member of the opposition party the United National Movement (UNM) and ex-Mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava, says the UNM split was caused by the issue of changing the party’s leadership.

In an interview with Kviris Palitra, Ugulava explains that the founder of the party, ex-President Saakashvili, wanted to remain as the leader of the party and always feared that a plot was being prepared against him, even when he moved to Ukraine and received a Ukrainian passport.

Ugulava said that during Saakashvili’s presidency, he should have left the party chairmanship and served only as the President of the country.

“The disagreement between me and Saakashvili started in 2013, when I said that another person should have been elected as the UNM Chair. He was not in favour of the idea,” the ex-mayor said.

Ugulava believes that as the party leader, Saakashvili should have found new approaches towards his allies and supporters, but failed.

“That is why I said he did not deserve to be the party leader…he was always suspecting that we were planning a plot against him," he added.

Moreover, Ugulava said that after he left jail, he expressed a desire to meet Saakashvili in Ukraine, but later refused.

“I tried to communicate with him, we had correspondence, but he did not want to meet me,” Ugulava stressed.

The UNM split on January 12, and in total 59 members left the party, including 21 MPs.

The main cause of the party’s split was Saakashvili’s informal leadership; however, former teammates also had disagreement about entering Parliament after the October 8 parliamentary elections.

Moreover, disagreements over the the January 20 party congress, which will gather around 7000 delegates to decide the fate of the party, also served as another reason behind the fracture of the party.

Victory has many authors, defeat - just only one.