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Georgia parliament to appoint new government and prime minister

October 25, 2012, 1:43 UTC+3

The new cabinet has been formed by the leader of the Georgian Dream coalition billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili

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TBILISI, October 25 (Itar-Tass) —— The Georgian parliament that will meet for a session in the city of Kutaisi on Thursday will discuss the issue of appointing the country’s new government and prime minister.

“The issue of the confidence vote to the new Georgian government is on the official agenda of the session due to begin at noon,” parliament speaker David Usupashvili said.

The new cabinet has been formed by the leader of the Georgian Dream coalition, which won the majority of seats in the country’s new parliament, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, 56. Experts have no doubts that the new government will be approved by lawmakers, since in line with the Georgian constitution a simple majority is needed to appoint a government. Meanwhile, the parliamentary minority (members of the former ruling party United National Movement) is not going to vote for the new cabinet, although the Georgian Dream’s 85 votes in the 150-seat parliament will be enough to appoint the government.

On Wednesday, Ivanishvili pledged to “to his best to ensure the supremacy of law, to observe human rights and to exclude violence and lies” the former authorities made a general practice. The new government, in his words, will focus on social problems to create conditions to do away with unemployment, to make healthcare and educational services affordable to all people. In the sphere of foreign policy, the new government will continue the “course towards Georgia’s integration into the European Union and NATO.” According to Ivanishvili, “in terms of Georgia’s external security, there is no alternative to NATO.”

At the same time, Ivanishvili has put it as a key goal to normalize relations with Russia. “Georgia and Russia may have coinciding interests on many issues, including those of security,” he said. “Trade and cultural ties may soon be resumed between Georgia and Russia.” He expressed the hope that “Russia would remove barriers and restrictions on imports of Georgian products that were imposed before 2008.” “I have no agreements with Russia on this matter, so far I have no relations with the Russian authorities, but analyzing the situation, I feel that it is quite possible to have these restrictions lifted very soon,” Ivanishvili said. “Back in 2006-2007, Russia imposed a ban on Georgian products because of Mikhail Saakashvili’s non-diplomatic pronouncements in respect of the Russian leaders.”

Saakashvili’s presidential term expires in October 2013. So, for a year, the country will have to live in a situation when the president is the leader of the opposition party which has the minority of seats in parliament, while the prime minister is the leader of the coalition enjoying the majority vote.

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