Temur Iakobashvili, an executive vice-president of an influential Tbilisi-based think-tank, Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS), has been offered the state minister for conflict resolution issues position.
“Yes, I can confirm that I have been invited to join the cabinet in that capacity,” Iakobashvili told Civil.Ge on Wednesday evening, January 23. He was reluctant, however, to give further details. “Everything will be announced officially; let’s wait for that official announcement,” he added.
Iakobashvili, who speaks Georgian, Russian, English and Hebrew, served in the Georgian Foreign Ministry in the early 1990s, holding various positions, including the director of the Department for USA, Canada and Latin America. He holds the diplomatic rank of Envoy Extraordinary.
Davit Bakradze, the current state minister for conflict resolution issues, is expected to become Foreign Minister, replacing Gela Bezhuashvili, according to Georgian media reports.
Ghia Nodia, head of the Tbilisi-based think-tank Caucasian Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPDD) has, according to unconfirmed media reports, been offered the Education portfolio. Nodia has made no comment on the matter.
Both Nodia and Iakobashvili were involved in exit polls, commissioned by four Georgian television stations, for the January 5 presidential election. Along with CIPDD and GFSIS, the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) and Ilia Chavchavadze State University were charged with managing the exit polls.