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Saakashvili: 'UNM is in Knockdown, Not in Knockout'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 Apr.'13 / 18:50

Describing current condition of his United National Movement (UNM) party in boxing terms,  President Saakashvili said that since October, 2012 parliamentary elections UNM “is in a serious knockdown”.

“Fortunately it’s not a knockout and the party is gradually starting getting back on its feet,” Saakashvili said in a Facebook post on April 28 after the early results of Saturday’s MP by-elections in three single-mandate constituencies were announced in which Georgian Dream candidates won the race.

In Badgati and Samtredia constituencies of Imereti region UNM’s candidates won 21% and 18.7% respectively; in Tbilisi’s Nadzaladevi constituency UNM’s candidate Papuna Davitaia, a former state minister for diaspora issues, was third with 15%.

UNM said that there were “multiple violations” but they did not affect final results; UNM congratulated GD candidates on victory.

“A well-organized and large rally on April 19, as well as [the results] of by-elections [in those constituencies] where [UNM] really engaged in struggle, showed that the party has a good chance in a struggle for saving Georgia’s future,” Saakashvili said. “My experience of many years in both suffering defeats and enjoying victories, tells me that now everything depends on the United National Movement party and on to what extent it will be able to gain new energy and ideas, to develop new tactics, to search for new human resources and to timely regroup. Huge challenges lie ahead and we are obliged to show firmness and unity in our deed to stop regress.” 

Commenting on April 27 MP by-election results, PM Ivanishvili told journalists on Sunday that the victory of Georgian Dream candidates was not at all a surprise.

“What matters the most is that elections were held calmly… October [presidential] elections will be similarly calm, but margin [of GD’s victory] will be even bigger; I think that the National Movement’s candidate will not get even 10%, let’s see,” Ivanishvili said.

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