(Civil.Ge) — Davit Usupashvili, Parliamentary Chairman in 2012-2016 and the former leader of Georgia’s Republican Party, announced that he and his teammates would establish a new centrist political movement for the upcoming municipal elections in October, 2017.
Speaking at a press conference on June 16, Davit Usupashvili said the new movement will be formed under the “Development” title, “because this country needs to be developed.”
In the words of Usupashvili, the new political movement plans to actively participate in the 2017 municipal elections, but its “main objective is to come to power following the 2020 parliamentary elections.” Usupashvili, however, added that the political movement will be officially registered only in spring, 2018.
The former Parliamentary Chairman spoke on his teammates as well, saying the movement will recruit the political newcomers “who will move the country forward,” but at the same time will also unite “those who have served the country selflessly and honestly.”
Former members of the Republican Party – Vakhtang Khmaladze and Tengiz Shergelashvili, as well as the members of the National Forum – Revaz Shavishvili and Kakha Shartava – have joined the new movement.
The Development Movement
The Development Movement, as outlined in its founding principles, considers that “socio-political relations, built on hostility and antagonism have prevented” the country “from directing the shared national potential to forming state institutions dedicated to promoting freedom, security and welfare for all people.”
According to the document, almost three decades after the restoration of Georgia’s independence, the country “exerts control over a small part of the national sovereignty, at the same time as growing international instability generates an urgent necessity of taking better care of our country.”
The new movement is against portrayal of liberty and patriotism as “contradictory concepts,” saying these two fundamental values “should serve as the basis for any nation-state.”
The new political movement, according to its founding principles, will not “divide the society along the ideological or personal lines,” and will represent “a centrist, unifying force, which will assemble rational and effective approaches” from different sides of the political spectrum.
“Georgia needs a new political movement, which will be using novel approaches, encouraging new generations, new thinking, and successful professionals from relevant fields to enter politics, and enabling them to contribute to caring for our common homeland,” the document also reads.
Davit Usupashvili’s Bio
Davit Usupashvili, who led the Republican Party in 2005-2013, served as the parliamentary chairman in 2012-2016 under the Georgian Dream coalition.
The Republican Party ran independently in 2016 Parliamentary Elections and failed to enter the parliament with just 1.55 percent of nationwide votes.
He quit the party soon after the election citing “political, value-based, and tactical” disagreements within the party leadership regarding the political future of the Republican Party. Speaking at his special briefing on October 29, Usupashvili pledged to remain “very active in the opposition political field.”
A recent public opinion poll conducted by the Baltic Surveys/The Gallup Organization for the International Republican Institute (IRI) put Davit Usupashvili’s personal favorability rating at 48% trailing behind President Giorgi Margvelashvili (67%), Healthcare Minister Davit Sergeenko (65%), Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili (55%) and European Georgia party leader Davit Bakradze (50%).