The messenger logo

New Minister dismisses old deputies

By Salome Modebadze
Monday, July 29
The new Minister of Education and Science, Tamar Sanikidze, dismissed deputy Ministers Davit Zurabishvili and Aluda Goglichidze. Zurabishvili, who was offered the position of the minister’s adviser due to his political experience, denied the proposal.

Zurabishvili found the minister’s offer unserious saying: “If I was not good for the position of deputy minister, how I can be a good adviser; but if she likes my advice and finds it necessary why does she dismiss me? It is not clear.”

Zurabishvili thinks his removal, despite its content or purpose of the minister’s decision, will directly or indirectly serve as an action the Republican Party he represents.

Praising Zurabishvili for his qualifications, his team member, Davit Berdzenishvili said of course the minister should be entitled to select and dismiss the staff.

The other dismissed deputy, Aluda Goglichidze, thinks the minister’s decision was a surprise for many people. “I think it is a big challenge for the [governing] team because these are the first such changes for this political team,” Goglichidze stated.

The former Minister of Education, who is now running for the presidency on behalf of the Georgian Dream coalition, Giorgi Margvelashvili, thinks the acting minister is a very-well qualified person, who has the right and obligation to arrange her personnel all by herself.

At her first cabinet session, Sanikidze said she will choose professionals, not politicians in staff. “It does not mean we are opposed to a certain candidate or are not satisfied with their job,” she said.

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili spoke with the new minister over the issue. Ivanishvili said that Sanikidze asked him to allow her to develop her own team independently. “It is a normal practice,” the PM said. Ivanishvili found the new minister a “hard nut to crack.” He said Sanikidze had a principled stance on the matter and thus would not “enforce” his cadre policy on her.

Sanikidze thanked the PM for his trust. She said she would not bring the previous deputies back as “numerous issues” at the ministry could only be solved by “professionals.”

Ketevan Natriashvili, who was holding the position of deputy minister during Margvelashvili, was thus promoted to the position of the first deputy minister replacing Zurabishvili.