The messenger logo

Government Carousel Starts

By Messenger Staff
Monday, October 24
The Georgian media has been speculating for around the last two months about a possible reshuffle in the government. The change in the cabinet of ministers’ was Bakur Kvezereli – proving the rumors true this time. At the end of last week the Minister of Agriculture Kvezereli was dismissed and the former governor of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Zaza Gorozia was appointed in his place. Despite the previous rumors some analysts connect this hasty change of minister of agriculture to the appearance on the political scene of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. The Georgian leadership wants to get rid of unpopular figures among themselves. So a kind of 'face control' among the top leadership of the country is likely to take place in near future.

In this case the Georgian government announced several times that agriculture is the country’s priority, however not everything was going smoothly in this sphere. Though the authorities announced the utmost success of the American imported hybrid corn program, many opponents challenged this result and say that it was the failure. The opposition forces, mainly the parliamentary opposition Christian Democrats, criticized Kvezereli severely and demanded his removal from his position several times. Kvezereli appeared very unprofessional in the agricultural sphere. However it could be that Kvezereli’s removal was simply in compliance with the general policy of Saakashvili who from time to time organizes a so called government carousel, reshuffling the cabinet of ministers.

The political analysts Ramaz Sakvarelidze thinks that changing the positions of personalities who have discredited themselves will still not earn popularity. So, if the government is going to earn popular support some serious positive steps should be made. The analyst thinks as well that the Ivanishvili factor also accelerated the necessity of a reshuffle. Therefore several possible candidates are named as well as likely to switch jobs. In the first case, these are Khatuna Kalmakhelidze current Minister for Corrections and Koba Subeliani, Minister of IDPs. There are also rumors that PM Nika Gilauri will also be removed. This move will follow the return of the draft budget from parliament back to the government, and this, according to the constitution, should be followed by a change either of the parliament or government. The president might choose at this moment to dismiss the PM, and this will show some splits in the governing body. On the other hand it will prove that the president wants to take any steps so as to improve the government’s popularity among the population as the people face many problems including unemployment, poverty, price rises and so on.

All the activities of the government recently show that it is getting ready for a new round of elections, and getting itself battle ready to take on any moves from Ivanishvili.