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Ana Dabrundashvili

Georgia: Meet a New Duo in Power

Newly elect President Giorgi Margvelashvili of Georgian Dream will commence his duties as the President on 17 November, replacing Mikheil Saakashvili. The new government will be formed following the inauguration with the new Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.

Georgia has a new duo of leaders, author: Ketevan Kantaria, source: RU

Georgia has a new duo of leaders, author: Ketevan Kantaria, source: RU

The Nomination of Irakli Garibashvili

Irakli Garibashvili, a 31-year old Minister of Interior  – whom barely anyone among Georgian voters knew just a year ago – has been named as the successor of Bidzina Ivanishvili on the post of the Prime Minister. The graduate of the University of Paris-I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, has worked in leading positions in Ivanishvili’s companies for several years. whic seemed to top and only career achievement. The two men appear to have a close father-son like relationship – Ivanishvili has publicly praised Garibashvili as a professional and a person many times.

Since his entrance in politics in late 2011, Ivanishvili has been saying that he is uncomfortable to be in public spotlight and Garibashvili was thought to become his replacement, though it became official only last week.

Garibashvili is the second Minister of Interior in a row to become the Prime Minister, following Vano Merabishvili of the UNM, who now is on trial. The position of the Minister of Interior has been regarded in Georgia as the key governmental post controlling the law enforcement agencies, which have a solid record of alleged abuse of human rights.

The members of the Georgian Dream Coalition all as one saluted Garibashvili’s nomination on Saturday, speaking of his many achievements as the Minister of Interior, however it is not easy to recall any concrete and publicly recognised success of the Minister. After a year in the office Garibashvili still has to introduce himself to Georgian citizens as a politician and a leader.

More about the transition of power:

Jamestown: Irakli Garibashvili Named as Georgia’s Next Prime Minister In Quotes: Politicians Comment on Garibashvili’s Nomination as PM

Eurasianet: Will Ivanishvili Become the Government’s Grey Cardinal?

Meanwhile President Mikheil Saakashvili has packed and together with his family and a pet rabbit moved back to his apartment in downtown Tbilisi as he bid a farewell to Georgian public in an emotional last address from the Presidential Palace. Cohabitation ended as Saakashvili’s UNM has handed the last bits of power – the presidency – to the Georgian Dream.

The next First Lady of Georgia

As presidential rights shrank amid the constitutional changes, the next big question in Georgia is who will be the next titular “First Lady”. Margvelashvili is officially unmarried and his union with a local actress is not affirmed either by the Church or the state. At this point eyes turn to Garibashvili’s wife.

Our vote, his choice

Both Margvelashvili and Garibashvili are persons brought into politics and backed by Ivanishvili and there seem to be little role of the Georgian public in bringing the two men in power. Nevertheless, this is who Georgians are left with and Ivanishvili is free to go back to his secluded life.

Russia Direct: Georgian presidential elections: What comes after Saakashvili?

Eurasia Outlook: The Georgian Experiment


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Ana is from Tbilisi, Georgia, where she currently works for the Caucasus Research Resource Centers. She has an MA in International Relations and BA in Journalism. Pursues writing in free time and is interested in literature.

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