Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and other cabinet members, December 21, 2017. Photo: parliament.ge
The Parliament confirmed late night on December 22 Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s new cabinet composition with 103 votes in favor to 17 against.
The new government had to face the parliamentary confidence vote following the recent structural and staff changes in the cabinet, which reduced the number of ministries from 18 to 14.
The following ministers have retained their positions:
- Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development - Dimitri Kumsishvili, who led the Ministry of Finance before November 2017;
- Minister of Internal Affairs - Giorgi Gakharia, who served as the Minister of Economy before November 2017;
- Minister of Foreign Affairs - Mikheil Janelidze;
- Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs - Davit Sergeenko;
- Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia - Sozar Subari;
- Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure - Zurab Alavidze;
- Minister of Defense - Levan Izoria;
- Minister of Justice - Tea Tsulukiani;
- Minister of Corrections - Kakha Kakhishvili;
- State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality - Ketevan Tsikhelashvili.
Two other ministers, who also retained their positions in the new cabinet, will lead the recently-merged ministries. These are:
- Levan Davitashvili, former Agriculture Minister, who will lead the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture;
- Mikheil Giorgadze, former Culture and Monument Protection Minister, who will lead the Ministry of Culture and Sport.
Cabinet newcomers are:
- Mamuka Bakhtadze, former Director General of the Georgian Railway, who assumed the post of the Finance Minister;
- Mikheil Chkhenkeli, former Deputy Rector of the Tbilisi State University, who will serve as the Minister of Education and Science.
The nearly eight-hour-long parliamentary debates that started mid-day yesterday ended at 2 am on December 22.
The parliamentary opposition criticized PM Kvirikashvili’s government, with MP Davit Bakradze of the European Georgia saying the new cabinet composition was not “oriented to people’s problems,” and with MP Roman Gotsiridze of the United National Movement stressing the ministers were “incompetent.”
MP Nika Melia’s address to the lawmakers ended with a dispute again but the incident was quickly resolved.
As part of the Prime Minister’s reform plan, three ministries (of Energy, of Sport and Youth Affairs, and of Environment & Natural Resources Protection) and one office of the state minister (for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration) were abolished, with their respective functions transferred to other ministries.