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Five changes in Cabinet Announced

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, November 23
Acting Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced the change of five ministers in the 18-member Cabinet of Ministers yesterday.

Dimitri Kumsishvili, the ex-Minister of Economics, was named as the new Minister of Finance; former Business Ombudsman Giorgi Gakharia for Minister of Economics; Zurab Alavidze, ex-Deputy Minister of Economics under the previous United National Movement government for Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development; former member of the Free Democrats opposition Viktor Dolidze for Minister of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration; and former Minister of Energy Kakhi Kaladze, who chaired the ruling party election staff, would be returned to the post, replacing Ilia Eloshvili.

Kvirikashvili and the Cabinet need to be approved by at least 76 lawmakers out of the 150-member legislative body over the next week.

The acting PM said those who would no longer be ministers - referring to ex-Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri, ex-Energy Minister Ilia Eloshvili, ex-Infrastructure Minister Nodar Javakhishvili and ex Minister for European Integration David Bakradze - would continue activities in “important posts.”

Bakradze has already been appointed as Georgia’s Ambassador to the United States, while Eloshvili will continue his role as Deputy Energy Minister, Kvirikashvili said.

President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili stated he hoped the changes would provide genuine results for the state economy.

A member of the opposition United National Movement, Otar Kakhidze, said the Cabinet “had brought the country to the current economic crises and failed to take responsibility for its wrong approaches”.

Political Analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze said it was good that Viktor Dolidze, “a high-class professional”, was offered the post.

With regards to the ministers of the economic field, Sakvarelidze said it was too early to make comments on their activities.

Fellow analyst Gia Khukhashvili said “let’s give 100 days to the new ministers and count our chickens in March”.

However, he was skeptical of the possibility that the changes will provide a breakthrough for the state economy and ensure a stable national currency.