United National Movement
- This article is about the political party in Georgia. For the defunct party in St Kitts and Nevis, see United National Movement (Saint Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla).
|United National Movement
ერთიანი ნაციონალური მოძრაობა
|Leader||Mikheil Saakashvili, David Bakradze|
|International affiliation||International Democrat Union|
|European affiliation||European People's Party (observer)|
|Seats in Parliament|
|Politics of Georgia
UNM was founded in October 2001 by Mikheil Saakashvili. It is a reformist party and favors closer ties with NATO and the 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.
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.
- Ghia Nodia, Álvaro Pinto Scholtbach: The Political Landscape of Georgia: Political Parties: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects. Eburon, Delft 2006, ISBN 90-5972-113-6
- Lincoln A. Mitchell: Uncertain Democracy: U.S. Foreign Policy and Georgia's Rose Revolution. University of Pennsylvania Press 2008, ISBN 0-8122-4127-4
- Nodia, Ghia; Pinto Scholtbach, Álvaro (2006), The Political Landscape of Georgia: Political Parties: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects, Eburon, p. 123
- Sydney Morning Herald, Shevardnadze quits to avoid bloodshed
- news.bbc.co.uk, Georgian leader set for poll win