Georgia's new premier, cabinet win confidence vote

Move follows resignation last week of Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia

Davit Kachkachishvili   | 23.02.2021
Georgia's new premier, cabinet win confidence vote Members of parliament ask their questions to Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili during a session held to vote of confidence for new cabinet at Georgian parliament in Tbilisi, Georgia on February 22, 2021. ( Georgian Parliament - Anadolu Agency )

TBILISI, Georgia 

Georgia’s parliament voted Monday to approve new Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and the cabinet he put forward. 

Garibashvili's government won a vote of confidence with 89 votes cast by lawmakers from the ruling Georgian Dream party.

Garibashvili had served as defense minister in former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia's cabinet since 2019, as interior minister from 2012-2013 and as prime minister from 2013-2015.

Only the regional development and infrastructure minister has changed in the new cabinet.

Most of the opposition parties do not accept the results of a general election held on Oct. 31, 2020, demanding a reorganization of the polls.

The seven parties that passed the election threshold and qualified to enter parliament are boycotting the parliamentary sessions.

Resignation of Prime Minister Gakharia

Gakharia announced his resignation last Thursday.

He told reporters in the capital Tbilisi that he quit due to differences of opinion with his team on an arrest warrant issued for Nika Melia, the head of the main opposition United National Movement, who is accused of organizing “mass violence” during anti-government protests in 2019.

Criticizing the decision to arrest the opposition leader, Gakharia said it will further fuel political tensions in the country.

The Georgian Interior Ministry announced that the operation to arrest Melia was temporarily postponed after Gakharia’s resignation.

Other opposition parties had also criticized the court order to arrest Melia.

*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

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