Internal Unrest in National Movement
30 May, 2013
Internal Unrest in National Movement
Criticism against the Party Leader

According to the experts, internal confrontations taking place in the National Movement has all the hallmarks of the irreversible process which is likely to disintegrate once mighty and tightly knit party into isolated shards. They add that the end is nigh, that is, the National Movement will not be able to keep itself intact even by the October Presidential elections. For the same reason, their Presidential hopeful faces harsh prospect of losing the privileged status
among his likes from the opposition.
On 16 April, Data Akhalaia, former high ranking official of the Constitutional Security Department accused Vano Merabishvili, the former Minister of Internal Affairs and currently Secretary General of the Nationalist Movement, of masterminding the campaign against his family. When commenting on the ongoing developments on his Facebook page, he pointed out that the Nationalist Movement fell victim to Merabishvili’s unrelenting pursuit of power, opportunism and the dirtiest forms of sublime fight. Data Akhalaia opined also that the infamous Lapankuri undertaking was conceived by the former PM Vano Merabishvili himself to set Bacho Akhalaia up.
The former high ranking official of the Constitutional Security Department who fled Georgia immediately after the October Parliamentary elections also wrote that “one thing was crystal clear to him – that in stupid miscalculation of one’s own power Merabishvili expected the irrevocable demise of the Akhalaia clan without detriment to his elevated position on the Olympus because he was double sure of the imminent victory in the October elections.”
These scandalous statements by Data Akhalaia were instantly followed by the special ad hoc press-conference by Tea Tutberidze, Executive Director of Freedom and Support Centre, on the same day, where she highlighted the facts of suspicious numbness of Merabishvili to the recent detention and illegal imprisonment of Bacho Akhalaia and testimonies of Merabishvili’s deputies and close associates give to the court against Bacho Akhalaia.
Then on 21 May, the public witnessed arrests of Vano Merabishvili, Secretary General of Nationalist Movement, and Zurab Chiaberashvili, Kakheti Presidential Governor, in Kutaisi. In response, the President made a special statement, in which though, according to experts, he paid little attention to Merabishvili. Saakashvili only remarked that Vano Merabishvili did everything to turn Georgia into a successful state and that the public knows Vano Merabishvili very well, both positive and negative aspects of his activity.
On 23 May, the Kutaisi court released Zurab Chiaberashvili on 20 thousand US Dollar bail. Notably, the Kakheti Governor left the #2 Detention centre in Kutaisi without any one from Nationalist leaders meeting him up there. The circumstance proved to be controversial judging by a myriad of equivocal comments in the social network and the public at large. Earlier, Tamar Chergoleishvili, Editor-in-Chief of Tabula magazine and wife of Giga Bokeria, Secretary of Security Council and an opposition leader, gave a cold shoulder to the President’s statement made on the 17 May events, where Saakashvili said that everyone has the right to hold a rally but questioned the moral of holding it with a tiny group in the place where the State had just staged a solemn farewell ceremony in memory of Georgian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.”
Chergoleishvili called the President rapacious and warned the Nationalist movement that if it did not distance itself from the catastrophic statement of the President she would leave the ranks of party supporters.
“The President, you are rapacious. Your instincts went oblique. Don’t you see that the words you say will not bring you back to power?”- Chergoleishvili was indignant.
The President’s statement yielded comments from another party leader too – Gigi Ugulava, mayor of the Georgian capital.
“I am neither lawyer for Saakashvili or prosecutor for Ivanishvili. I did not like a part of the Saakashvili’s statement on the 17 May events. I say this openly. The Ivanishvili’s statement too, was correct as much as the one by Saakashvili. It’s just both had a detail that I loathed. I would call it a flirting detail,” – Ugulava said.
These facts and statements many believe that the Nationalist Movement has plunged into disarray and internal strife. Experts suppose in the press that the traditional team spirit in the Nationalist Movement has been waning. The party leaders give out message that do not represent a normal form of individual presentation.
“If we analyze the statements of the party leaders, we would feel there is a real problem bulging – which is the disagreement on major topics. What is more, particular persons seem to be at loggerheads with each other, so much that occasionally they find themselves in open conflicts.
A specific wing in opposition to the general party vector has been materialized. For instance, certain party members took the 17 May processes more personal than anything else including the detention of Merabishvili and Chiaberashvili. It’s an extremely disturbing form his colleagues met Chiaberashvili up. “It was as if one of their leaders who proved to be always loyal to the party went into oblivion for the members of this party,” – this statement in the press belongs to expert Soso Galumashvili. According to him, one of the important moments is to identify a presidential candidate via primaries. Naming Vano Merabishvili as such directly, without the primaries would be a big mistake for the party because in several months the court may prove the guilt of Merabishvili and effectively turn him into a criminal leader of the party seeking to head the State. Certainly, the party would not lose its image but disappear altogether from the Earth. Galumashvili believes that the processes look to be flowing in this very direction so that by the October elections the intact Nationalist Movement would remain only in history and hence its main Presidential hopeful of the opposition would turn into a political ghost or something.
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