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Cabinet Wins Confidence Vote
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 7 Sep.'07 / 15:28

A slightly reshuffled cabinet won Parliament’s backing on September 7 with 133 votes to 13.

Three ministers lost their posts in the biggest cabinet reshuffle in nine months; all key ministers, however, have retained their portfolios.

Nika Gilauri, the ex-energy minister, has become the finance minister, replacing Lexo Alexishvili.

Gilauri’s position was filled by his former deputy and ex-chief of the state-run Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC), Alexander Khetaguri.

Eka Tkeshelashvili, the former chairperson of the Court of Appeals, has replaced Gia Kavtaradze at the Justice Ministry.

Lado Chipashvili, the minister for healthcare, labor and social welfare, was replaced by the ex-minister of environment, Davit Tkeshelashvili. The latter’s position was in turn filled by his deputy, Davit Chantladze.

Other Ministers remain at their current posts:

Vano Merabishvili – the Interior Minister;
Davit Kezerashvili – the Defense Minister;
Gela Bezhuashvili – the Foreign Minister;
Giorgi Arveladze – the Economy Minister;
Kakha Lomaia – the Minister of Education and Science;
Goka Gabashvili – the Minister of Culture and Sport;
Gia Kheviashvili – the Minister of Refugees and Accommodation;
Davit Bakradze - the Minister for Conflict Resolution Issues;
Zinaida Bestaeva - the State Minister for Civil Integration Issues;
Giorgi Baramidze – the State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Issues;
Kakha Bendukidze – the State Minister for Economic Reforms.

The reshuffled cabinet’s programme, which was presented to Parliament by PM Zurab Nogaideli, has been criticized by opposition lawmakers as “a wish-list” with no concrete action plan involved.

PM Zurab Nogaideli said although he had hoped to have a meaningful debate in the parliament about the programme, it was impossible, he said, because of the opposition’s non-constructive stance.

Despite criticising the programme on September 4, Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze, who chaired the parliamentary hearings on the reshuffled cabinet on September 7, remained silent on the issue.

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