After Georgia voted for independence in 1991, various powers in the country tried hard to expand their influence. Some nationalist paramilitaries even accepted Russian support, only to overthrow the first democratically elected government. Other groups increasingly developed criminal and mafia structures and were able to easily undermine the authority of state power. This political turmoil, rampant corruption and stagnant economy initially made it impossible to successfully lead Georgia to sovereignty. In 2003, the first unified reform movement took place with the so-called „Rose Revolution“. Its leader, Mikheil Saakashvili, enacted extensive investments and fought corruption, but also came under pressure for his authoritarian approach. In 2012, his party was then defeated by the „Georgian Dream“ party alliance, whose founder and initiator Bidsina Ivanishvili is one of the richest and most powerful people in the country. In the meantime, there are many small parties, all of which are seeking a way to defy the superiority of the Georgian Dream and the influence of its oligarchs.

„The gap between the old and new generations is huge. I think that our government is trying to find a middle way, which is not always easy.“
Tamara Tsuleiskiri, Director of the EU and NATO Info Center

The United National Movement (UNM) is a liberal and pro-western party. Founded in 2001 by Mikheil Saakashvili, it was a driving force during the „Rose Revolution“ in 2003. They formed the government for almost 10 years until it was voted out in the 2012 parliamentary elections, and has since been the strongest opposition party. Its agenda focuses on Georgia’s integration into Euro-Atlantic structures and the elimination of corruption. Although the party was able to expand its sphere of influence in the early 2000s, it is now more difficult for it to counter th new ruling party, Georgian Dream. Especially since its former chairman Saakashvili fell from grace. He is currently serving a prison sentence.

I think Iwanischwili is not free in his decisions because he is influenced by Russia. For them he is the perfect pick. He seems pro-european but in reality he acts according to russias demands. Saakaschwili is the completely opposite. He has no connections to Russia and he wants to be a part of EU and NATO.

Nika Oboladze, Press spokesman of the political party UNM

Independence Day is one of the most important holidays. Since the 19th century, Georgia was occupied by Russia. On May 26, 1918, the democratic government of the „First Republic of Georgia“ declared the country’s independence.

Girchi has this pretty simple and understandable human structure of moral values, which is based on a a few ideas ideas: Your body belongs to you, and you can do whatever you want. Whatever you earn is yours and nobody can take it. The only thing that is prohibited is physical violence. On this small idea you can build solutions for a lot of problems. Since the Soviet Union, there is a gap of morality in politics and if you fill it with structure and ideas it can be very interesting, especially for young people.

Herman Szabó, Member of Parliament, Political Party Girchi

The small and young party „Droa“ is a prime example of the numerous organizations that want to change something in their country with few resources but a lot lot of ambition. They don’t belong to the establishment. Their self-declared goal is to expose and fight injustices – mostly on the part of the government – and to directly represent the interests of the citizens. Georgia’s independence is particularly important to them, they also stand firmly against the omnipotence of the ruling Georgian Dream party and its biggest supporter, the oligarch Ivanishvili. For them, approaching the EU and adapting Western democratic values is a top priority.