Nodar Javakhishvili, chief executive of ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s bank, Cartu, has been appointed as deputy minister of infrastructure and regional development.
Appointment of Javakhishvili, who was Georgia’s central bank chief in 1993-98, was one of the key reshuffles in series of changes announced on December 5 and affecting some of the senior and mid-level officials in executive government and GDDG, leading party in the ruling GD coalition.
In other changes governor of Guria, region in western Georgia, Giorgi Chkhaidze, filed for resignation and head of the Interior Ministry’s internal investigations unit Irakli Samkurashvili.
Also on December 5 Zviad Jankarashvili, executive secretary of Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG), party founded by ex-PM Ivanishvili and now chaired by PM Irakli Garibashvili, stepped down just two months after being appointed on this post.
Jankarashvili, who is a relative of Garibashvili, was head of interior ministry’s internal investigations unit, before stepping down in April, 2014. Rumors swirl about ex-PM Ivanishvili being behind the recent changes, supposedly aimed at sidelining Jankarashvili and his allies in government; some media sources even speculate that the ex-PM has been disgruntled recently by performance of his protégé incumbent PM Garibashvili. But when commenting on economy on December 4, Ivanishvili told journalists: “government works well.”
Head of department at government’s administration in charge of relations with regions and local self-government bodies, Akaki Chkhenkeli, has also filed for resignation.
On December 5 PM’s office said that Roman Chkhenkeli has been replaced on the post of secretary of PM’s economic council by business ombudsman Giorgi Gakharia. The latter will also retain the post of business ombudsman.