Georgia announces government reshuffle, merge of several ministries

  • PM Kvirikashvili said that all of these changes will be approved at the nearest government meeting after which the new Cabinet will be presented to Parliament for a vote of confidence. Photo: PM’s press office.
Agenda.ge, 13 Nov 2017 - 12:31, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Government of Georgia is undergoing a major reshuffle, where several ministries will be merged.

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced the changes this morning.

  • The Ministry of Energy and the natural resources management component of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection will be incorporated into the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.

First Vice Prime Minister Dimitri Kumsishvili (who has been finance minister to the present) will be appointed Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development to coordinate the work of the economic team.

  • Giorgi Gakharia, who has been economy minister up until to the present, has become minister of internal affairs. He will be Vice Prime Minister as well.
  • The Emergency Management Agency of the Interior Ministry and the State Security and Crisis Management Council will be merged to become a new Emergency Management Centre. Head of this newly established agency will be Giorgi Mgebrishvili, who has been the minister of internal affairs to the present.
  • New Minister of Finance has become Mamuka Bakhtadze, who has been director general of the Georgian Railway LLC, the national railway company of Georgia, to the present. PM Kvirikashvili said that it was under Bakhtadze’s management that Georgian Railway was integrated into the Silk Road Corridor and active work was launched on the creation of the new Persian Gulf-Black Sea transit corridor, modern management systems were adopted and the railroad fleet was rejuvenated.

Mamuka Bakhtadze holds a doctoral degree in technical sciences, also a master’s degree in business administration from the INSEAD Business School.

  • The youth affairs component of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs will be merged with the Ministry of Education and Science and will be led by Mikheil Chkhenkeli, who has been deputy to rector of Tbilisi State University to the present.
Chkhenkeli is a mathematician with a PhD degree from the University of Pennsylvania in the US. He has 20 years of experience in teaching at leading US universities and has received multiple awards for best teacher at the University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere. He is also a recipient of the prestigious Goldman Sachs Foundation prize.
  • The sport component of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs will be merged with the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection and Mikheil Giorgadze will be the minister. He has been the minister of culture to the present.
  • The environment component of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Recourses Protection will be merged with the Ministry of Agriculture. Current Agriculture Minister Levan Davitashvili will lead the agency.
  • The State Minister of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration will be merged with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Current foreign minister Mikheil Janelidze will lead the agency and he will also be Vice Prime Minister.
  • The State Security Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service will be merged to form one agency.

Kvirikashvili said that all of these changes will be approved at the nearest government meeting after which the new Cabinet will be presented to Parliament for a vote of confidence.

The PM hopes that the reform process will be completed by the end of the year.

"The upcoming changes will serve the purpose of greater progress, of shaping an even more modern state and flexible state apparatus which in itself maximally reduces administrative expenses,” Kvirikashvili said.
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