Movement for Liberty – European Georgia Holds Party Congress

The Movement for Liberty – European Georgia party, which split from the United National Movement in January 2017, held its congress at the Sport Palace in Tbilisi on May 27 and elected Gigi Ugulava, former Tbilisi Mayor, as the party’s general secretary.

Over 500 delegates, who attended the congress along with several thousand party activists and supporters, elected Davit Bakradze as the party chairman, and Giga Bokeria as the head of the party’s main governing body, political council.

“I feel that a new stage, new struggle is beginning in my life and I promise that together with you, I will stand in this struggle to the end. The fact that we are standing here together confirms that a vigorous, competent force, which has exact vision about what our country needs for the development and advancement, is being born and strengthened in Georgia. And this force are you – the Movement for Liberty – European Georgia,” Gigi Ugulava said at the congress.

He stressed that the party members remained committed to “the values and principles of the 2003 Rose Revolution.”

Speaking about the party’s future plans, Ugulava noted that the Georgian government would be replaced through elections.

“We will end Georgian Dream’s one-party rule already this autumn [when municipal elections are scheduled in Georgia] … [ex-Prime Minister Bidzina] Ivanishvili’s government will have to move to the opposition. It is irreversible,” Ugulava added.

Giga Bokeria, chairman of the party’s political council, also addressed the congress: “You are the team, whom Georgia may pin its hopes on. You are the team, who will never give up its choice to become a full-fledged member of the family of free nations; who will never give up its European choice – European Georgia.”

He also said that the party would change the government through “democratic” means.

“Even the best government is dangerous if it does not obey the people and the constitution,” Bokeria added.

“I am sure that Georgia needs a new force that will be oriented to unification instead of splitting; reconciliation instead of enmity; building instead of destruction. Just it will be the key impetus for our party,” Davit Bakradze, the party chairman, said in his address.

The party members named Elene Khoshtaria as Tbilisi mayoral candidate for the October municipal elections.

“Today I assume the responsibility to struggle for the Tbilisi mayoral position… Most important is that the Tbilisi Mayor should serve the population, be accountable to the population rather than to one group, one party or one person,” Khoshtaria said.

The Movement for Liberty – European Georgia also approved its political council, consisting of 90 members.