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National Movement - Democrats
The political movement National Movement - Democrats (Georgian Natsionaluri Modzraoba – Demokratebi ნაციონალური მოძრაობა – დემოკრატები (NMD), former United National Movement) is the largest political organization in Georgia. NMD was founded as a United National Movement (UNM) in October 2001 by Mikhail Saakashvili. It is a centre-left , moderately nationalist party which favours radical reform of the Georgian state and closer ties with the European Union. Since most of its members in the Council of Europe joined the ELDR group, it might be considered as a liberal party. Its main political priorities include raising pensions and providing social services to the poor, the movement's main base of support; fighting corruption; and increasing state revenue.
Saakashvili and other Georgian opposition leaders formed a "united people's alliance" in November 2003 to bring together the United National Movement, the United Democrats, the Union of National Solidarity and the youth movement "Kmara" in a loose alliance against the government of President Eduard Shevardnadze.
The United National Movement and its partners in the opposition played a central role in the November 2003 political crisis that ended in the forced resignation of President Shevardnadze. The opposition parties strongly contested the outcome of the November 2, 2003 parliamentary elections, which local and international observers criticised for numerous irregularities. After the fall of Shevardnadze, the party joined forces with the United Democrats and the Union of National Solidarity to promote Saakashvili as the principal opposition candidate in the presidential elections of January 4, 2004, which he won by an overwhelming majority. Fresh elections are planned for March 28, 2004 following the annulment of the November parliamentary elections.
The United National Movement and the United Democrats had amalgamated some days before starting of pre-election campaign of the Parliamentary Elections of March 28, 2004. New political movement was named the "National Movement-Democrats".
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