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Burjanadze Confirms Planned Government Structural Reform
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 16 Jan.'08 / 15:30

Details of the proposed cabinet reshuffle and government structural changes will be released after Mikheil Saakashvili is sworn in as President on January 20, Nino Burjanadze, the acting president, told journalists on Wednesday.

“We have to take certain things into consideration in relation to the government structural changes and the cabinet reshuffle. Both Mikheil Saakashvili and I have said several times we plan serious changes, not only in these areas, but in local government structures [in the provinces] and in the [National Movement] party-list for the next parliament, too, and you will learn about all these changes after the presidential inauguration; it will be the president who will speak about it,” Burjanadze said.

She refused to reveal further details and side-stepped a direct question on whether the opposition would be offered the vice-premiership. Instead, she referred to Saakashvili’s earlier statements, in which the president-elect said he was willing to offer government posts to individual professionals regardless of their party affiliation.

Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze said on January 9 that there would be several vice-premiers, instead of the current one.

Georgian media sources have suggested that the government structural changes referred to by Burjanadze would specifically apply to the Interior Ministry, which has control over the security services. De-coupling security from the ministry - “a monster,” according to the opposition - has long been a key opposition demand.

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