Georgian parliament confirms PM Gakharia’s cabinet of ministers

  • The new cabinet of ministers has been approved by the ruling party members as the opposition refuses to take up their mandates. Photo: Government of Georgia/Facebook, 24 Dec 2020 - 20:59, Tbilisi,Georgia

The parliament of Georgia has confirmed Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia and his cabinet of ministers with 85 votes in favour and none against. 

10 out of 11 members of the cabinet remain unchanged; only former deputy Justice Minister Gocha Lortkipanidze will temporarily take over as justice minister before he officially takes up the position of judge at the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).

Gakharia’s cabinet has been confirmed unanimously as the opposition remains on boycott and refuses to take up their mandates. Photo: Government of Georgia/Facebook

Members of Giorgi Gakharia's cabinet are: 

  • Justice Minister - Gocha Lortkipanidze
  • Foreign Minister - David Zalkaliani
  • Interior Minister - Vakhtang Gomelauri
  • Defence Minister - Irakli Gharibashvili
  • Finance Minister - Ivane Machavariani
  • Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development - Natia Turnava
  • Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport - Mikheil Chkhenkeli
  • Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture - Levan Davitashvili
  • Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure - Maia Tskitishvili
  • Minister for Internally Displaced Persons, Health and Social Issues - Ekaterine Tikaradze
  • State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality - Tea Akhvlediani

PM Gakharia presented his cabinet and the government programme - ‘Building of a European State' - on December 18. Photo: Government of Georgia/Facebook

The government programme includes four key directions: 

  1. Economic development
  2. Social policy and development of the human capital
  3. Foreign policy, security, conflict resolution and human rights
  4. State governance

In his address to the parliament earlier today Gakharia said that 2021 and especially its second half will be for recovering the economic potential of the country, 'when Georgia will succeed in making its important message in the global post-COVID economic competition both within the region and globally'.

We have to work, perform, take action in an unordinary environment. Global pandemic and development of events in the region, global economic crisis and all those political challenges and process of democracy, which is witnessed in the country in a rather difficult manner are all part of it. Our voters have instructed us to jointly respond to all these challenges”, he addressed the opposition. 

He also noted that when 'irresponsible politicians' fail to take their share of responsibility and refuse to engage in the development of the country, public sector 'should protect the interests of citizens and stay politically neutral'.

The 10th convocation of the parliament of Georgia held its first session on December 11. Photo: Parliament of Georgia/Facebook

In his address Giorgi Gakharia noted as well that whether the ruling party will be represented in the parliament alone or not they will continue their ‘path to European future’.

Some got scared of the responsibility, some – got lost and some could not overcome their ego. However, we are witnessing the result and we should all understand it well that it doubles the responsibility of the authorities. Most important here is the attitude – either all or nothing. It is not a democratic mindset and has nothing to do with European manner of thinking", he referred to opposition.

Meanwhile he noted that 'when we talk here without the opposition, we all need to understand it well that our responsibility doubles'.

Nobody is against critical thinking and nobody is afraid of criticism, but do not interfere with your destructive actions, which are aimed against the state, rather than a specific political force. We vividly see steps that are directly aimed at delegitimizing the state, rather than only public institutions", Gakharia said. 

He said 'narrow political interests' damage not only the party itself, but the future of the country, especially during the global pandemic and world-wide economic crisis.

Meanwhile, President Salome Zurabishvili has signed a decree on officially appointing Giorgi Gakharia as the country's prime minister.