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Giorgi Gakharia Tapped New Prime Minister

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Bidzina Ivanishvili, the Chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream party has nominated Giorgi Gakharia, who served as the Interior Minister since 2017, to become Georgia’s new Prime Minister. The parliament, where the Georgian Dream holds the decisive majority, is expected to confirm the candidate at its upcoming session.

Ivanishvili told journalists gathered at the ruling party headquarters on Tuesday morning that he has proposed Gakharia’s candidacy, which has fully endorsed by the Political Council of the Party as well as the Parliamentary Majority.

While serving as Interior Minister, Gakharia simultaneously performed the role of the Vice Prime Minister. Prior to that posting, between November 2016 to November 2017 Gakharia served as the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development. From 2014 to 2016 he worked as Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Georgia. Since March 2013 to 2016 Gakharia was the Business Ombudsperson of Georgia, handling the disputes of the business community with the state.

Prior to his career in Georgian Dream administration, Gakharia worked and lived in Moscow, Russia from 1994 until 2013. He worked as Director for Business Development & Government Relations for Europe, Russia & CIS at Lufthansa Service Holding AG, the German career’s food and services branch. From September 2006 to May 2009 Gakharia gave lectures in Applied Biotechnology at the Moscow State University.

Gakharia holds MBA in Management from Moscow State University’s Graduate School of Business Administration that he obtained in 2004. In 1994-99 Gakharia studied Political Science in Moscow State University.

Recently, Gakharia has become a highly polarizing figure in Georgian politics. Civic activists and the opposition hold him responsible for the police crackdown on Tbilisi protests on June 20-21 in front of the Parliament building, where thousands of activists and opposition protested the visit of Russian delegation at inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy in the Georgian Parliament on June 20.

240 people, including 80 police officers and 12 journalists have been treated for injuries as a result of crackdown. Many severe injuries to civilians occurred later during the night after the police dispersed protestors through massive use of tear gas and rubber bullets, including so called “less-lethal” rounds.

For over two months, since June 20, number of activists still hold protests in front of Georgian Parliament demanding Gakharia’s resignation.

During his meeting with TV journalists, the Interior Minister reiterated several times, that June 20-21 developments “fall under his personal responsibility”, however, he said he would not resign.

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

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