UNM opposition head “ready” to re-run for post, slams party members for “hasty” announcement

Nika Melia, the head of the United National Movement party, has slammed his party members for an “unexpected briefing” over the party leadership elections. 

Agenda.ge, 10 Nov 2022 - 12:07, Tbilisi,Georgia

Nika Melia, the head of the United National Movement opposition party on Wednesday said he was ready to re-run for the post “anytime” and slammed several of his party members for a “hasty” briefing earlier during the day that called for a leadership challenge. 

Melia, who has been chairing the party for more than two years, claimed he had himself proposed internal party elections a month ago and said members were now discussing details for the race. “The time will show the real grounds and reasons why several members of the party had decided to raise the topic in such a hasty manner and in this [unacceptable] form”, said the politician. 

The opposition leader also stressed the elections for the post would be “very comfortable” for him, providing opportunities “to sincerely speak with our supporters over a number of [problematic] questions which have accumulated over the years”. 

Mamuka Mdinaradze, the ruling Georgian Dream party lawmaker, has stated that the UNM members were battling each other after their "failure" to spark unrest in the country. Photo: RFE/RL. 

Holding a briefing at a library named after the currently imprisoned former president and UNM leader Mikheil Saakashvili, four members of the party called for elections of leadership in a bid to “further strengthen [the party]”, before several of their colleagues called the statement unexpected.

In his comments last month, coming after his alleged confrontation with party members over the topic of Saakashvili, Melia had dismissed reports over his possible resignation and scheduling of new elections. 

Responding to the developments, Mamuka Mdinaradze, an MP of the ruling Georgian Dream party said the UNM had “failed to spark unrest in the country and are now battling each other”. 

"Their nature is [a continued] fight, disorder, chaos. As it appears, they have failed to divide money and radicalism [between each other]. They are fighting each other on who will be more radical”, Mdinaradze said.