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European Georgia — Movement for Liberty

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European Georgia –
Movement for Liberty
ევროპული საქართველო –
მოძრაობა თავისუფლებისთვის
ChairmanGiga Bokeria
Secretary-GeneralAkaki Bobokhidze
Chairman of the Political CouncilGigi Tsereteli
FoundersGiga Bokeria, Gigi Tsereteli
Founded13 January 2017 (2017-01-13)
Split fromUNM
HeadquartersTbilisi, Barnovi str. 40
Ideology
Political positionCentre to centre-right
European affiliationEuropean People's Party (observer)
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
Colours    Navy blue and red
Parliament
0 / 150
Municipal Councilors
18 / 2,068
Website
europeangeorgia.ge

European Georgia (Georgian: ევროპული საქართველო, romanized: evrop'uli sakartvelo) is a political party in Georgia founded in Tbilisi in January 2017, primarily by prominent former members of the United National Movement. From 2017 to 2021 the party was chaired by Davit Bakradze.[1] Since 2021, the chairman is Giga Bokeria who was chairman of the political council from 2017 to 2021.

History

The party holds seats in the Parliament of Georgia as a result of the 2016 parliamentary election, in which its members ran as part of the opposition United National Movement (UNM). After an internal disagreement, a significant part of the UNM parliamentary caucus and leadership (including Giga Bokeria, Sergi Kapanadze and Elene Khoshtaria) broke away.[2] The breakaway entity took the largely unknown legal vehicle of a previous party whose leadership included Nugzar Tsereteli, father of Gigi Tsereteli, and had previously run in coalition with the UNM. The breakaway faction in the Parliament initially renamed itself to European Georgia, before choosing the name of Movement for Liberty-European Georgia during a presentation by Davit Bakradze on January 30, 2017. On the same date party leader Gigi Ugulava was named interim secretary general, in place until a party conference could be held.[3][4]

The party held its first convention on May 27, during which they elected Bakradze as chairman of the party, Ugulava as secretary-general, and approved the party's name as European Georgia - Movement for Liberty.[5]

Ideology

The party's economic liberal and center-right platform is virtually identical to the UNM's. The main difference between the two parties is their political strategy, with European Georgia historically being more institutional rather than activist. For instance, European Georgia in 2017 displayed a higher willingness toward contesting elections and taking part in the political process compared to the UNM which boycotted the elections.[2] This has changed recently, however, as both parties have increasingly cooperated in opposition to the ruling Georgian Dream government.

In an interview with the online news website Netgazeti, Giorgi Ugulava distinguished the Movement for Liberty as being more liberal than the UNM, specifically describing the UNM as populist and communitarian.[6]

Electoral performance

Parliamentary election

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
2020 Davit Bakradze 72,986 3.79
5 / 150
New 3rd Opposition

Presidential election

Election year Candidate 1st round
# of overall votes % of overall vote
2018 Davit Bakradze 174,849 10.97

Local election

Election Votes % Seats +/–
2017 156,232 10.4
166 / 2,043
New
2021 29,251 1.66
18 / 2,068
Decrease 148

Seats in Municipal Assemblies

Municipal Council Votes % Seats Status
Gurjaani 1,045 3.75 (#4)
1 / 39
Opposition
Akhaltsikhe 593 3.00 (#3)
1 / 39
Opposition
Aspindza 229 3.40 (#3)
1 / 30
Opposition
Akhalkalaki 977 5.50 (#3)
2 / 42
Opposition
Ninotsminda 351 3.25 (#4)
1 / 30
Opposition

References

  1. ^ "UNM's Parliamentary Faction Changes its Head, Name". Civil Georgia. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b Civil.ge (January 12, 2017). "United National Movement Splits". Civil.ge. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  3. ^ Civil.ge (January 30, 2017). "Former UNM Members Unveil Political Plans, Change Party Name". Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Civil.Ge | Former UNM Members Unveil Political Plans, Change Party Name".
  5. ^ "European Georgia Selects Chairman, Secretary General, and Political Council Chair at Convention". Tabula. 27 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  6. ^ "Civil.Ge | Gigi Ugulava on Past Mistakes, Political Plans, Differences between UNM, European Georgia".
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European Georgia — Movement for Liberty
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