The United National Movement - the largest opposition group in the country - on Wednesday announced the expansion of its Political Council with 20 new members, Levan Khabeishvili, the party Chair said amid calls by current and former members on his resignation for “wrong policy”.
The newly appointed members include figures such as Eka Tsamalashvili, Gia Chanturia, Nikoloz Vacheishvili, Gigi Kublashvili, Sevdia Ugrekhelidze, Nika Churadze, Maia Javakhishvili, Merab Janelidze, Aleksandre Krevo Asatiani, Natalia Mchedlishvili, Beso Katamadze, Mamuka Kurashvili, Igor Narmania, Alika Kuprava, Levan Feradze, Bakur Mgeladze, Temur Tsamtsishvili, Nika Oboladze, and Irakli Giorgobiani.
The decision to expand the Political Council was in response to the call for unity in the currently imprisoned former President Miklheil Saakashvili's manifesto. Khabeishvili claimed unity, as proposed by the third President, within the opposition could counter the influence of a “Russian oligarch”, in reference to the Georgian Dream founder Bidzina Ivanishvili, advocate for the European future of the country, and support the freedom of Saakashvili.
The former members of the UNM Tbilisi office and the party members in regional city assemblies this week called for Khabeishvili’s resignation and the suspension of the Council, accusing the current management of pursuing “incorrect policies” since Khabeishvili assumed the chairmanship in January.