Saakashvili and other Georgian opposition leaders formed a "united people's alliance" in June 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, which was widely criticised in Georgia and abroad for failing to tackle the country's endemic corruption.
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 as having been rigged by the government. 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. Following the annulment of the November parliamentary elections, fresh elections are proposed for March 2004.