"The United National Movement (UNM) party failed to fully renew itself after its 2012 defeat, which meant it could not meet society’s needs” – these were the words spoken by Zurab Japaridze, UNM former executive secretary who left the party on Monday with three other high-profile members.
Today Japaridze released a written statement explaining why he and three others - Pavle Kublashvili, Goga Khachidze and Giorgi Meladze quit UNM, Georgia’s main opposition party.
He said UNM continued to exist after 2012 but that was "not enough”.
"Surviving is important for a political party but not enough for reaching a goal,” Japaridze wrote.
He believed a new political reality was needed, and announced he and the three others would create a new political party to compete at the 2016 Parliamentary elections.
"We are going to fight; to fight for a united, European Georgia with a democratic future,” Japaridze said.
He also said for the 2016 elections his new party would offer society "the boldest but not most popular” plan of economic development.
Meanwhile other UNM leaders said Japaridze’s statement was supposed to answer questions, but on the contrary, it raised even more questions.
"This definitely was not a statement of a political leader as it created even more question marks,” said UNM member Zurab Tchiaberashvili in response to Japaridze’s statement.
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili made a remark about several leaders leaving the opposition party. He said: "It was surprising that they hadn’t split before now. They were trying to pretend they were one team until the last moment but they are divided into three different groups inside.”
The PM did not specify what "three groups” he meant.
Meanwhile, other UNM members assessed their former teammates’ decision as "irresponsible” and said despite the departure of four members, the party would remain.