The United National Movement has scheduled the election of the chairman
Some members of the largest opposition party in Georgia, United National Movement (UNM), held a press conference in Mikheil Saakashvili’s Presidential Library and demanded new elections for the chairman of the party on 9 November.
In the same evening, the chairman of the UNM Nika Melia also held a briefing and noted that “elections are the most comfortable process for him”.
Giorgi Chaladze, a member of the same party, announced his desire to participate in the elections for on 11 November.
Giorgi Mumladze, one of the leaders of the NGO “Movement for Georgia”, also expressed his desire to be a candidate for the chairman of the “United National Movement”.
The chairman of the political council of the party, Koba Nakopia commented on these developments after meeting with Mikheil Saakashvili. According to his statement, Koba Nakopia will support Nika Melia as he has not exhausted his potential in the party. He also sait that fellow party members rushed in their announcements.
After visiting Mikheil Saakashvili, Giuli Alasania, Saakashvili’s mother, spoke about the same issue. According to Alasania, Mikheil Saakashvili believes that the presidential library is not a place where briefings on the issue of the election of the party chairman should be held.
On 13 November, the working group meeting was held in the party. They discussed the form and procedure of the election of the chairman of the party, and the members of the group agreed on holding the election electronically .
Recently, several members left the UNM – among them were Nona Mamulashvili and Nika Oboladze. According to Mamulashvili, current parliament is “the most disgraceful” in the history of Georgia, and the United National Movement “has been empty of politics for a long time”. According to Oboladze, he does not see the strength and energy in the National Movement of this formation.
MEPs urge President Zurabishvili to ‘consider’ pardoning Nika Gvaramia
12 members of the European Parliament addressed President Salome Zurabishvili in a letter on 7 November which urged the President to consider exercising the powers available to her to pardon imprisoned Mtavari Arkhi TV Chief Nika Gvaramia.
A few days before the letter, on 2 November, the Tbilisi Court of Appeal rejected Gvaramia’s appeal and left him in prison for 3 years and 6 months. The court’s decision was criticized by the opposition, international partners, media rights defenders and other public organizations. Part of the civil society once again called on the president to pardon Gvaramia.
In the letter, the MEPs draw attention to Georgia’s path to European integration and note that although this path is “not easy”, it is firmly supported by the vast majority of the Georgian population.
They noted that Georgia’s path to the status of EU membership candidate was recently opened by granting a European perspective and emphasized that “A historic opportunity for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia was granted due to the immense sacrifices Ukraine is making, to defend the values on which also the EU is built upon, against Russian aggression”.
MEPs Anna Fotyga, Miriam Lexmann, Rasa Juknevičienė, Andrius Kubilius, Peter Pollak, Juozas Olekas, Dace Melbārde, Bernard Guetta, Andrey Kovatchev, Ausra Maldeikiene, Raphaël Glucksmann were among the signatories.
IRI Poll Shows Pessimism Among Population
A new public opinion poll, commissioned by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and released on 7 November, reveals that much of the Georgian public believes the country is heading in the wrong direction, is concerned with the state of the economy, and is skeptical about Georgia receiving EU candidate status in 2023.
Regarding the country’s direction, 62% of respondents said that Georgia is going in the wrong direction (61% in March 2022), and 30% said that it is going in the right direction.
To the question – “Is it expected that Georgia will receive the status of a candidate for the European Union in 2023?” – 26% of the respondents answered that it is not expected at all; 24% said it was somewhat unexpected; 27% indicated somewhat expected and only 10% said expected.
The majority of the respondents agree that the issue of acceptance/non-acceptance of EU candidate status depends on the government/Georgian dream. In particular, 51% of the respondents state that in case of success, it will be the merit of the government, and in case of failure in this direction – 64% blame the government.
72% of respondents say that they want to see new political parties for the next elections, and only 22% of the respondents are satisfied with the current elections. In addition, only 15% of respondents trust Georgian political parties, 35% stated that they distrust political parties, and 49% neither trust nor distrust them.
According to the results of the poll, the public has the most positive attitude towards the Patriarch of Georgian Orthodox Church, Ilia II – 88%. Then comes the Mayor of Tbilisi, Kakha Kaladze – 51%; Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili – 44%; The leader of the People’s Party, Ana Dolidze – 40% and President Salome Zurabishvili – 38%.
Regarding Russian citizens’ rights in Georgia, 78% said that they did not support Russians being able to enter Georgia without a visa, register a business, or purchase property.