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United National Movement
ერთიანი ნაციონალური მოძრაობა
Leader Mikheil Saakashvili,
David Bakradze
Founded October, 2001
Headquarters Tbilisi
Ideology Liberal conservatism, Liberal nationalism,
Pro West
European affiliation EPP - observer status
Website
http://www.unm.ge/
Politics of Georgia
Political parties
Elections

United National Movement (Georgian: ერთიანი ნაციონალური მოძრაობა , Ertiani Natsionaluri Modzraoba, ENM) is the center-right party and largest political organisation and current governing party in Georgia.

UNM was founded in October 2001 by Mikheil Saakashvili. It is a reformist party and favors closer ties with the NATO and European Union, as well as the restoration of Tbilisi's control over the separatist self-proclaimed states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Leaders of UNM label themselves as liberal-conservative and in September 2007, the party became an observer member of the center-right European People's Party (EPP).

Its political ideology has moved from center-left to center-right since the Rose Revolution, and combines political, economic and cultural liberalism with civic nationalism. Its main political priorities also include improving social services to the poor, the movement's main base of support; fighting corruption and reducing administrative barriers for doing business.

Saakashvili and other Georgian opposition leaders formed a "United People's Alliance" in November 2003 to bring together the United National Movement, the United Democrats, the Union of National Solidarity and the youth movement "Kmara" in a loose alliance against the government of President Eduard Shevardnadze.

The United National Movement and its partners in the opposition played a central role in the November 2003 political crisis that ended in the forced resignation of President Shevardnadze. The opposition parties strongly contested the outcome of the November 2, 2003 parliamentary elections, which local and international observers criticised for numerous irregularities. After the fall of Shevardnadze, the party joined forces with the United Democrats and the Union of National Solidarity to promote Saakashvili as the principal opposition candidate in the presidential elections of January 4, 2004, which he won by an overwhelming majority. Fresh elections are planned for March 28, 2004 following the annulment of the November parliamentary elections.

The United National Movement and the United Democrats amalgamated on February 5, 2004; the UNM retained its name but its parliamentary faction is called the National Movement – Democrats.

Mikhail Saakashvili on May 22, 2008 announced his confident victory for his ruling party in parliamentary polls amid fears of political unrest, and rising tensions between Georgia and Russia. Early official results indicated his United National Movement had 63% of the votes against the opposition's 13%, with about a quarter of the 3,664 precincts.[1]

Contents

Further reading

  • Ghia Nodia, Álvaro Pinto Scholtbach: The Political Landscape of Georgia: Political Parties: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects. Eburon, Delft 2006, ISBN 90-5972-113-6

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