Speeches & Statements

Mikheil Saakashvili’s call for comprehensive recovery, restructuration, and democratization of the United National Movement

Dear fellow fighters,

Activists of the United National Movement, members, supporters and my fellow citizens,

I would like to congratulate Davit Bakradze with all my heart on winning the United National Movement primary and being nominated thecandidate of the UNM for the Presidential elections. Davit Bakradze is a member of our team and a long time fellow fighter. He is truly an honorable candidate and I would like to declare my full support for him. The most important thing now is for all of us to unify around our common candidate and bring our message to each member of our society.

At the same time I would like to address you and first of all tell you how proud you make me. We created one of the most interesting epochs together in the history of Georgia. The entire region and I say this without exaggeration, the rest of the world was observing the revolution and especially what Georgia could do as a result of the revolution. We have created the most dynamic, innovative, brave, and exemplary state in the post-soviet space with its achievements and mistakes, advancement and periodic reversals.

Also, for the first time, we have created a political force which is not based on a specific leader or leaders but on each members, each supporter in the society. A party must not belong to specific leaders, but it must belong to you and most importantly it must not be based on personal ambitions, but our common goal of creating a new, very successful state the main idea of which is freedom, democracy, corruption free environment, and development based on meritocracy,  instead of clan rule and narrow party interests. It must be based on a meritocracy, so the persons must be valued by their success advancement and hard work.

This is exactly why we were able to keep unity in conditions when the General Secretary of the party is unlawfully arrested, thousands of activists are under legal prosecution and pressure, and we are being thrown mud every minute in press and television.

What is now happening is Georgia is being administered by the old corrupted elite. It is a reckless attempt of revenge against the Rose Revolution and like every revenge and attempt oriented on the past it is doomed for defeat.

We know this but this does not mean that we should wait for their defeat by doing nothing.

Actions and changes are imperative. As a part of this action we must consider that a small part of our initial fellow fighters have forgotten the ideals we were fighting for and they have put their personal prosperity and ambition above it. We must fully free ourselves from these people. Many ordinary career oriented individuals managed to stick to us since the revolution and freeing ourselves from them is only a positive process.

At the same time, especially during the recent years, signs of bureaucratic rusting are noticeable within the party. Healthy debates are not held relevantly, which has diminished our political immunity in the end against internal and external enemies and their unprecedented and sometimes inter-coordinated furious attacks.

This is why we are going through a necessary process of critical analysis and becoming helthy, which means that we must change and become better, not forget main principals, and at the same time create a lot healthier, democratic and open organization.  The process of primary elections and great activeness of party members showed us the right way. We need more openness, more debates, more educated, patriotic, active and intelligent persons as well as energetic leaps towards common national consensus, irreversible development of the society and strength of the state.

This is why I offer you: let the National Movement make another unprecedented step in the history of Georgia. We must create a party which will be a generator of ideas and on the other hand turn these ideas into subjects of great societal discussion. We have a great goal which is unreachable without the support of our people. We must rely on the talent of our fellow citizens, patriotism, innovative ability, and enthusiasm. United National Movement must become a more open and democratic party than it has ever been. It must become a real National Movement literally!

My personal ambition is the same today as it has ever been – to do everything for advancement and development of my homeland! I hope that after today I will remain not only a leader of the UNM but one of you and an equal among equals. I understand the meaning and content of these words with all my heart! The entire society will see that these are not only words and first of all our party will experience it! I once again repeat – the UNM was always and will always be not only a generator of ideas but a bridge between these ideas and the society!

Considering all of this, I want to offer you several important novelties. First of all, considering a positive experience gained from primaries and participation of party members in them, I call on you to make competition and elections a standard and firm principle. Let’s refuse hierarchy including thee entire party structure and its managing circle as well as local self-governance. A minimum of 10% of our party members must have a right to summon a party convention. Despite the highest representative function of the party chairman a permanent party council must make every current decision of the party chairman the work of which will be led by chairman of the council daily. Over half of the council must be new personnel full of new energy. Let’s also adopt a position of an executive secretary, so that decisions of the political council are implemented relevantly. In this sense lets create a structure where every decision will be made collectively, with majority of votes, and which will attracted everyone who wants to be politically active, agrees with main postulates of the United National movement and feels that has the ability and energy to participate in rational debates and contribute to the building of own country’s future. The most important thing is to elect candidates for every party position including internal party as well as central government positions. This happened for the presidential elections and the same must happen with mayors, prime ministers and deputies.

Horizontal nature of the party structure will not only enrich our party with new members but fighting against us will have no sense at all. For example, if the head of Georgian government hopes to destroy us but neutralizing specific leaders, tomorrow he and many others will realize that this fight has no sense. If the current Russian government, considering their repeated statements about their position that at least they want to destroy me legally, politically and morally, thinks that this is the way of solving a problem, tomorrow they will realize that in reality they are dealing not only with me but my colleagues, our colleagues, the entire party, and entire nation. They will realize that they are playing with big fire and they need to return back, and not interfere with this fire to turn into a creative energy; give in to the idea and reality that Georgia was always and will always be a free state of free people, country of peace, rehabilitation, progress, forgiveness, kindness and a castle which will not be breached by internal and external enemies in the future!

The process of bringing the national movement as a new energy has already begun and we will be able to take this process to the end successfully together.

We have learned a lot during these ears, lived through many fights and wars, made mistakes and saw many successes. We are all ready to address our people with new enthusiasm and energy and tell them:

We are fighting children of our homeland, full of love towards our people and homeland! We will keep fighting with the faith that we are on the right side of history and that we are doing this not for ourselves but for our country and common future of our children. With faith that in the end the kindness will always defeat the evil; in the end and darkness will be helpless against light; Past and regress will in no way be able to replace future and progress!

We are in politics in order to turn ideas into work and we must take every undertaking seriously. I offer you to have a UNM convention in September, agree on the date and show every principal change I spoke about in the rules of the party and its structure. We have done a lot and lot more needs to be done. This is why we must write new goals in our new program. Our movement is in the process of restoration like Phoenix and we must bring this affair to the very end;The affair which is called independence of Georgia and freedom of our people!

Mikheil Saakashvili


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