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Parliament Confirms PM Kobakhidze and his Cabinet of Ministers

The Parliament of Georgia confirmed on February 8 Irakli Kobakhidze as the new Prime Minister and the new cabinet of Ministers led by him, comprised of twelve Ministers, of which eleven have retained their posts.

On January 29, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili resigned. The leader of the Georgian Dream party, Irakli Kobakhidze, was nominated in his place. After a vote in the plenary session of the Parliament, where all ministers, including the Prime Minister, were officially appointed, the Parliament gave a vote of confidence to the new Government of Georgia.

All attending lawmakers from the ruling Georgian Dream party voted in support of PM Kobakhidze’s cabinet and government’s program “For the Construction of a European State” with 84 votes to 10, with 105 MPs present.

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili signed the decree on the appointment of Irakli Kobakhidze as Prime Minister late on February 8, stating that the decree was signed immediately “in order not to create an obstacle in the fight against natural disasters, [and] to ensure that relevant acts are issued in time and implemented in a timely manner.”

Notably, only the nominee for Minister of Defense, Irakli Chikovani, is new to his post, replacing Juansher Burchuladze.

PM Kobakhidze’s cabinet, approved by the Parliament, is comprised of the following Ministers: 

  • Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development and First Vice-Prime Minister– Levan Davitashvili
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs – Ilia Darchiashvili
  • Minister of Defense – Irakli Chikovani
  • Minister of Internal Affairs – Vakhtang Gomelauri
  • Minister of Finance – Lasha Khutsishvili
  • Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure – Irakli Karseladze
  • Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture – Otar Shamugia
  • Minister of Reconciliation and Civic Equality – Tea Akhvlediani
  • Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs – Zurab Azarashvili
  • Minister of Education, Science and Youth – Giorgi Amilakhvari
  • Minister of Justice  – Rati Bregadze
  • Minister of Culture and Sports – Tea Tsulukiani

PM Kobakhidze’s Speech

Before the confirmation Irakli Kobakhidze presented the Government program “For construction of a European State” to the Parliament. 

During his speech, Kobakhidze mentioned multiple times the Georgian Dream party founder and Honorary Chairman Bidzina Ivanishvili, thanking him “for his nomination as PM”, ” for democracy in Georgia”, “for economic development”, “for EU candidate status”, “for ending the previous government”, “for maintaining peace”, etc. Meanwhile, Kobakhidze criticized the previous Government, accusing it of a “repressive regime”, “elite corruption”, “electoral fraud”, “zero-tolerance policies”, “monopolized media”, as well as for the 2008 Russo-Georgian war. He stressed that the ruling party’s real “dream” is the peaceful restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity and the complete eradication of poverty.

Kobakhidze then addressed the future plans and reforms of the new cabinet, outlining visions in various sectors, including the economy, social policy, health care, defense, culture, education, foreign policy, occupied territories, the Georgian diaspora, etc. 

Meanwhile, Kobakhidze spoke in conservative terms, suggesting that policy would remain unchanged in many directions. He stressed the importance of strengthening the idea of the Georgian family, which he said would be a key focus of his cabinet.

He said: “In 2004-2012, the government of the day did everything to destroy the structure of society, to ‘cleanse’ the intelligentsia, to destroy civil society, which led to the formation of a pseudo-elite that is still engaged in propaganda of pseudo-liberal ideology in Georgia and is at the forefront of the struggle between the state and the church.”

Kobakhidze said his cabinet will do everything possible “to strengthen Georgian society and its structure.” Special attention will be paid “to the patriotic development of the youth”, he said. He also announced that that the state’s drug policy will be tightened: “We will counter propaganda aimed at forming a loyal attitude to drugs in society,” – he said.

At the end of his speech, Kobakhidze said that “with respect for the principle of secularism”, the state will take all measures to strengthen even more “one of the cornerstones of national identity” – the Georgian Orthodox Church, to defend it from the “attacks of neo-Bolsheviks”.

This news was updated on February 9 at 11:43 am to include the President’s statement.

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

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