skip to content

Cabinet Reshuffle in Georgia

Lado Chipashvili, the minister for healthcare, labor and social welfare, has been dismissed in a cabinet reshuffle, Dimitri Kitoshvili, the president?s spokesperson, said on August 29.

Chipashvili, he said, would be replaced by the current minister of environment, Davit Tkeshelashvili, whose position would in turn be filled by his deputy, Davit Chantladze.

Chipashvili will be appointed as Georgia?s ambassador to the Czech Republic. ?The current ambassador to the Czech Republic, Kakha Sikharulidze, will be appointed to an important position in the Foreign Ministry,? Kitoshvili said.

He did not specify the reasons behind the cabinet reshuffle, and indicated that more changes were a possibility.

At least seven ministers have been replaced in the cabinet since July 2006, when the government last won the backing of Parliament. The prime minister, in accordance to the law, has to nominate and receive approval from the parliament for a new cabinet if six or more ministers are replaced.

?This is expected to happen by September when the parliament is convened,? the president?s spokesperson said. ?And some more changes in the cabinet, apart from the above mentioned, are still possible.?

Parliament will convene for its autumn session on September 7.

There has been much media speculation that Gia Kheviashvili, the minister for refugees and accommodation, will fail to retain his post in the new cabinet.

Both Chipashvili and Kheviashvili were at the center of a recent scandal involving allegations of the misuse of state funds for the medical treatment of two politicians.

Tbilisi-based Imedi TV reported in July that Beso Jugeli, a lawmaker from the ruling party, and Minister Kheviashvili had asked that the state provide 10,000 Swiss francs (USD 8,200) and EUR 1,270, respectively, to pay for their private medical treatment abroad. The Healthcare Ministry reportedly sanctioned the funds.

When President Saakashvili asked the ex-healthcare minister to give an explanations, Chipashvili responded at a cabinet meeting in late July that his ministry had ?not transferred even one Tetri for the medical treatment of Kheviashvili.?

Some Georgian media sources, however, have recently suggested that Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili was slated to be replaced by the current foreign minister, Gela Bezhuashvili. The latter is expected to embark on a series of foreign trips involving NATO-member countries in September. Some reports also say that deputy chief prosecutor, Nika Gvaramia will replace Gia Kavtaradze, the justice minister.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


Back to top button