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Saakashvili Meets Ex-Tbilisi Mayor in Helsinki

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, November 9
Ex-President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, who is the founder and Chair of the former ruling party United National Movement (UNM), had a meeting with the ex-Mayor of Tbilisi, Gigi Ugulava, in Helsinki.

Ugulava used to be the member of Saakashvili’s team but after the UNM divided into two in January 2017, he is one of the leaders of the parliamentary minority, European Georgia.

The meeting of two leaders is connected to the second round of the October 28 presidential elections in Georgia, as the two candidates who will run the race are UNM’s Grigol Vashadze and ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party supported independent candidate – Salome Zourabichvili.

“We’ve all realized that at the end, we are one family…A new unity is being formed, which will be much broader than the National Movement and the European Georgia,” Saakashvili stated after the meeting.

According to the third president of Georgia, it is important he met Ugulava at the Congress of the European People's Party because the European People's Party played a decisive role in creating a common platform for the European Georgia and the United National Movement.

“I thanked Gigi Ugulava for the very strong position expressed by him and other leaders. This is a new political culture in Georgia,” he added.

Saakashvili underlined that the UNM and the European Georgia have one aim and one enemy, who needs to be defeated by joint actions.

“We have one target, we have one enemy and our country needs to be saved. A new unity is being formed that will be much broader than these two parties and much broader than our relationships," the ex-President emphasized.

GD member Gia Volsky says the two opposition parties have been the same since they split. The MP believes that division of the party in 2017 was one of the strategies of the UNM, to attract more supporters by creating an illusion that a part of the UNM distanced themselves from the party and Saakashvili.

“I think their operation was successful and they were waiting for better results from the first round of the elections…I hope the society will see the reality,” Volsky said.

The second round of the presidential elections is scheduled by December 2nd.