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New Structure – Old Members

President Submits to the Parliament the New Structure and the Old Ministers

President Shevardnadze, hard pressed by the constitution to submit the candidates for the ministerial position the parliamentary review, avoids sharp moves. The minor reshuffle would touch upon the law enforcement agencies, main targets for recent popular protests of October 28-November 1. As for the rest, Parliament is likely to see the familiar faces, but is less likely to endorse them.

Georgia is preparing to have a transitional government. On November 12 President Shevardnadze submitted to the Parliament a new structure of the government, which would have 15 ministries instead of 17.

November 14 is a deadline for submission of the candidates to the ministers’ posts. Shevardnadze has not presented the candidate to the Parliament officially so far, however in his interviews with journalists Shevardnadze hinted that the core of the new government would remain unchanged.

Shevardnadze only confirmed that neither the infamous Interior Minister Kakha Targamadze nor the State Security Minister Vakhtang Kutateladze would make it to the new cabinet. President is not going to return ex Prosecutor-General Gia Meparishvili as well.

However, the Interior Minister is likely to be replaced by his protege and first deputy Koba Narchemashvili. Current Parliamentary Secretary of the President Valeri Khaburdzania will succeed the State Security Minister.

The same source says that Justice Minister Roland Giligashvili appointed just before the crisis instead of defiand Mikheil Saakashvili will claim the chair of the Prosecutor-General. Giligashvili is a procuracy cadre from the Soviet times.

Paata Tsnobiladze, currently the Deputy Dean of the Law Faculty of the State University and the head of the Soviet Georgia’s lawyer’s union is supposed to take on the post of a Justice Minister.

President is not going to replace the ministers of Education, Environment and Natural Resources, Defense, Culture, Refugees and Accommodation, Foreign Affairs, Energy, Agriculture and Foodstuffs, Transport and Communications, Finance, and Health Care.

On November 12 President proposed a legislative initiative to the Parliament and presented amendments to the Law on Structure and Rules of Activities of the Executive Government. These amendments consider elimination of the Tax Revenues ministry, which was formed in 1999. Three departments of this ministry – Taxes, Customs and the Special Tax-Legion – are to be subordinated directly to the State Minister, thus considerably expanding the latter’s powers.

On November 12 Shevardnadze described the next State Minister as a “young professional with good experience in the fiscal sphere.” After such an evaluation, the only version appearing in mass media identifies the former Minister of Taxes and Revenues Levan Dzneladze as a future State Minister.

The amendments consider another structural change as well: ministries of State Property Management and Construction and Urbanization will merge with the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Trade. The new ministry will have compact name: the Ministry of Economy and will be headed by ex-minister of State Property Management Giorgi Gachechiladze.

According to the Georgian Constitution, President should submit to the Parliament the members of the new government within 14 days after dismissal of the old one. However, the legislation does not define the period in which the Parliament should discuss and approve the new ministers. President might have good use of this legislative nuance and drag the time.

Until the Parliament adopts changes into the executive government structure, President will be nominating the candidates under the acting legislation. Thus, he would nominate several candidates, who would know beforehand that in case of adoption of the structural changes, they would be withdrawn.

By Giorgi Kalandadze, Civil Georgia

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