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Mamuka Bakhtadze at a news briefing, June 18, 2018. Photo: facebook.com/GeorgianDreamOfficial

PM-Designate Announces Structural, Staff Changes in Cabinet

The number of ministries in the Government of Georgia will be reduced from fourteen to eleven, Prime Minister-designate Mamuka Bakhtadze said at a news briefing on June 18, following his consultations with ruling party leadership earlier today.

Bakhtadze, who was tapped to be the country’s new head of government after Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stepped down, announced staff changes as well, saying it would apply to six ministries in total. He, however, did not specify the exact ministers to be replaced.

The PM-designate then clarified that since structural changes in the cabinet required a separate legislative amendments process, the cabinet would first go through the confidence vote in its current arrangement (with acting ministers), and would then be presented to the Parliament in new composition, following the legislative amendments process.

The PM-designate added that since the Parliament would have to vote on the new cabinet composition twice, he had asked the legislators to accelerate the legislative process in the first case, and hold more detailed parliamentary deliberations once he would present the final cabinet composition, tentatively in two-three-weeks time.

Bakhtadze noted in his remarks that his program, to be submitted to the legislature today, would be based on the concept of small government. “This entails flexible and effective government institutions, and the reduced size in the economy,” he explained.

MP Giorgi Kakhiani, who leads the Parliament’s procedural affairs committee, said after the news briefing that the legislature would convene for the confidence vote on June 20.

Kakhiani also noted that the 14-member cabinet of ministers would be presented to the Parliament in its current composition (with acting ministers), except in the cases of finance (Mamuka Bakhtadze), economy (Dimitri Kumsishvili) and foreign (Mikheil Janelidze) ministers, who will be replaced by their deputies until final cabinet composition is submitted to the legislature.

With that, Kakhiani confirmed earlier reports that Kumsishvili and Janelidze, two of the closest associates of PM Kvirikashvili, would not be re-nominated in Mamuka Bakhtadze’s cabinet.

This post is also available in: Georgian Russian

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