Movement For United Georgia Party held its inaugural session on December 15 and elected ex-Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili as its “honorary chairman.”
MP Gia Tortladze was elected as the acting chairman of the party.
Okruashvili currently is in custody in Germany, where he was arrested in late November following a Georgian request for his extradition. The German courts must make a decision on the matter before January 6. Okruashvili has already asked for political asylum in Germany, claiming that he is politically persecuted in Georgia.
Okruashvili announced the launch of his opposition party on September 25 but he was arrested two days later and charged with large-scale bribery through extortion, money laundering and negligence while serving as minister. Later, he was released on GEL 10 million bail. On November 1, Okruashvili, according to the General Prosecutor’s Office, was allowed to travel to Germany “for medical treatment.” Okruashvili, however, subsequently alleged that he had been forced onto the plane and sent to Germany against his will.
Movement for United Georgia is part of the nine-party opposition coalition, which backs MP Levan Gachechiladze in the January 5 early presidential elections.