Youth from Georgian UNM gathered at conference after election defeat

October 30th, 2012   Caucasus | Countries and Regions | Education | Georgia | News

Barely a month after the parliamentary elections defeat of the Georgian party, United National Movement (UNM), around 20 members from the youth organization gathered in the Georgian capital Tbilisi for a conference organized by Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation, October 26-28, 2012. The name of the conference was the “Role of the Youth Organization”, but the loss of elections partly reshaped the focus of the conference.

Member of Swedish Parliament, Åsa Coenraads and young politicians from UNM.

For the first time in almost nine years, the liberal, pro-Western UNM is in opposition and is now facing a new reality. One expects that the internal structure of the party will change and that those who were only interested in power and not so much in the ideology of the UNM, eventually will disappear, whereas true supporters will remain.

The young participants who came from Tbilisi and other regions were disappointed with the election results, but at the same time determined to look forward.

The Swedish Member of Parliament, Åsa Coenraads opened the conference by talking about how to act when in opposition and how the youth organization could improve its methods to reach voters. Moreover, she brought up social media as an excellent form to promote the party.

Participant shows her result from the political quiz.

James Marriott, who works as Secretary General in International Young Democrat Union (IYDU), held a lecture on young leadership, giving examples of a good leader, followed by a session on how to recruit new members to the youth organization.  The participants were also given a popular quiz showing where they were on the political ideology scale.

Although UNM is going through a tough period of time, there is a consensus that it is even more important now that the party sticks to its values. “Even if only 20 percent is voting for us, we must stand up for what we believe in” said the UNM Member of Parliament, David Darchiashvili and encouraged the youth to keep up their work.

UNM Member of Parliament, David Darchiashvili about the loss of the election.

In October 2013, Presidential election will be held in Georgia. However the constitution was recently changed and political power has been transferred from the President to the Prime Minister. Prime Minister in Georgia is the businessman and leader of Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili.  

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