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Georgia on the verge of changes: government reshuffle is expected

The government of Georgia is on the verge of large-scale structural and staff reforms. Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili is expected to make a statement on it, the First Channel operated by the Georgian Public Broadcaster reports.

According to the channel, several ministries are planned to be merged, so there will be 13 left instead of the current 18.

“The economy and sustainable development ministry will undertake functions of the energy ministry. The functions of the environment protection and natural resources ministry will be divided between the economy ministry and the agriculture ministry. The functions of the sports ministry will be passed to the education and culture ministry. Office of the State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration will be incorporated into the foreign ministry,” the First Channel informs.

Besides, they report that probably the government’s Security and Crisis Management Council can be abolished and a new independent investigation agency can be established that will investigate lawfulness of law enforcers’ activities. According to Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani, the government has the political will for establishing such an independent investigative mechanism.

As for candidatures of ministers, current Economy Minister Giorgi Gakharia can be appointed to the post of interior minister instead of Giorgi Mgebrishvili. Dmitry Kumsishvili can come back to the post of economy minister. He can become the first deputy prime minister and be in charge for the economic section of the government. At the same time, two new ministers are expected to be appointed; Education Minister Alexander Jejelava is expected to be replaced.

Commenting on the report, first deputy chair of the parliamentary committee for human rights Gedevan Popkhadze said that if Giorgi Kvirikashvili proposes a new and effective team to the MPs, they would express confidence to it.

“This is not the first reshuffle in the government. When we hear arguments of the prime minister, we shall make conclusions. Probably, I have my own opinion in advance, though, it would be better for me to have all my questions answered so I could make a public statement after that. We expressed confidence to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, and if he proposes a new and effective team, we shall express confidence to it,” Popkhadze said.

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