Four Parliamentary committees back new cabinet, Gov’t programme

The committees for Legal Affairs, Human Rights and Civil Integration, Defence and Security, and Procedural Issues and Rules on Monday supported the new cabinet composition. Photo: Parliament press office, 05 Feb 2024 - 19:37, Tbilisi,Georgia

Four of the Georgian Parliament’s committees on Monday backed the new composition of the country’s Government and its programme for “building a European state” following changes sparked by the resignation of Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and nomination of the ruling Georgian Dream party Chair Irakli Kobakhidze as his replacement last week.

The committees - for Legal Affairs, Human Rights and Civil Integration, Defence and Security, and Procedural Issues and Rules - supported the new cabinet composition following a joint session involving presentations by Vakhtang Gomelauri, the candidate for the Interior Minister, Rati Bregadze, the candidate for the Justice Minister, Irakli Chikovani, the candidate for the Defence Minister and Thea Akhvlediani, the candidate for the State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality. 

In his remarks, Gomelauri, who assumed the post for the second time in 2019, briefed the lawmakers about recent reforms and future plans of the Ministry. 

He emphasised the goal of further developing a “dignified, modern and motivated” domestic police force, with a primary focus on “creating a safe environment” and “combating crime effectively”. 

Gomelauri also highlighted an increase in statistics of solved crime cases, which he said had reached 64.87 percent by late 2023. The official also underscored the Ministry's dedication to combating organised crime and expanding international police cooperation.

In his address, Bregadze discussed his office’s upcoming projects, including the integration of modern technology and artificial intelligence in legal security sectors. He also mentioned plans to replace pre-2011, laminated citizen identification cards with new electronic IDs free of charge. 

Bregadze also emphasised strengthening the role of notaries in legal security and completing the nationwide land registration project, before highlighting efforts to harmonise Georgian laws with European Union standards and improve justice infrastructure.

Chikovani reaffirmed Georgia's commitment to European and Euro-Atlantic integration despite the Russian occupation of two of the country’s regions and “hybrid threats”, and emphasised the importance of “political and practical support from partners” and ongoing cooperation with NATO, the European Union and the United States.

He also highlighted the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, a programme launched in 2014 to foster the country’s defence capabilities and interoperability with the alliance, and announced Georgia's hosting of a tripartite defence ministerial this year with the engagement of Azerbaijan and Turkey. 

For her part, Akhvlediani stressed her body’s commitment to achieving “tangible results” through “consistent policies, new approaches, and effective tools”. 

She noted an “increasing interest” from communities in occupied regions in participating in peace initiatives proposed by the Government, and emphasised projects for trust-building and cooperation.

The candidate for the Minister also noted the upcoming launch of a unified information portal for providing simplified access to state programmes and services for the population in the Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions and “all interested parties”.