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Georgian parliament to vote on confidence in new PM, his cabinet

December 29, 2015, 8:50 UTC+3
Former Prime Minister, Irakly Garibashvili, who occupied the post from November 20, 2013, announced his resignation on December 23
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Giorgi Kvirikashvili

Giorgi Kvirikashvili

© EPA/PACO CAMPOS

TBILISI, December 29. /TASS/. Georgian parliament is expected to have a vote on Tuesday on confidence in the candidate for the Prime Minister’s post, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, and in the cabinet he will present.

The plenary session will be held in the city of Kutaisi.

Former Prime Minister, Irakly Garibashvili, who occupied the post from November 20, 2013, announced his resignation on December 23. "Peace, stability, lawfulness, and humaneness have taken root in Georgia in recent years and we managed to consolidate the domestic and foreign policy," he said.

Garibashvili did not go into details about his future occupation but said he would continue serving Georgia as a devout citizen and soldier.

On December 25, the parliamentary majority consisting of members of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition nominated Kvirikashvili for the Prime Minister’s office. President Georgy Margvelashvili supported the candidacy on the same day and submitted it for approval to parliament.

Kvirikashvili said on Saturday he had decided to ask the parliament to vote for the previous cabinet members and to appoint Mikhail Djanelidze the country’s Interior Minister. The man had been occupying the position of a deputy minister since September.

"After the parliament has a vote of confidence in the government, I’ll have an opportunity to examine each minister’s performance from the position of a Prime Minister and this will help me to take rational decisions," he said. "It is not ruled out changes may take place in the government in the future."

After endorsement of the cabinet, Economics Minister Dimitri Kumsishvili will take the post of a Deputy Prime Minister. Kakhi Kalaidze, who is also Energy Minister will retain the position of a Deputy Prime Minister, too.

As for relations with Russia, Kvirikashvili said at the parliamentary hearings on Monday Georgia would continue a pragmatic policy in relations Moscow. "A pragmatic policy towards Russia will be continued - naturally, on the basis of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia."

The incumbent version of Georgia’s Constitution that was adopted in 2010 and took effect in November 2013 has considerably reduced the powers of the President and has simultaneously expanded the powers of the Prime Minister.

As the head of the cabinet, the Prime Minister now has real control powers in his hands while the President remains the head of state with rather representative powers. In this connection, endorsement of the Prime Minister and the cabinet by parliament has crucial significance for the country.

From 1994 through 1996, Kvirikashvili worked in the banking system. He was parliament deputy from 1999 through 2004 and first deputy chairman of the committee for economic policies.

After that, the held a number of high executive positions at Georgian banks, including the period 2006 through to 2011 when he was Director General of Kartu Bank.

He took the position of Economics Minister in October 2012 and became a Deputy Prime Minister in July 2012. Simultaneously, he became a Deputy Prime Minister.

On September 1, 2015, Kvirikashvili was Georgian Foreign Minister but remained a deputy PM at the same time.

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