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New PM Nominated
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 27 Oct.'08 / 19:37

President Saakashvili has nominated Grigol Mgaloblishvili, Georgia’s ambassador to Turkey, to replace Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze.

Saakashvili said at a meeting with lawmakers from the parliamentary minority on October 27 that PM Gurgenidze would continue as “co-chairman of the new financial commission, which is tasked with stabilizing the country’s financial sector.”

“Mgaloblishvili will present a new cabinet in the next few days,” Saakashvili said in a brief televised announcement.

Thirty five-year-old Mgaloblishvili, who has never been involved in politics, has been working for the Georgian Foreign Ministry since 1995 in various positions. He was appointed as Georgia’s ambassador to Turkey in 2004.

President Saakashvili also said that possible cabinet changes should not hinder the work of the parliamentary commission studying the August war.

“We call on the commission to continue its activities and former cabinet members or those remaining in the cabinet will continue cooperation with it,” Saakashvili said.

Shortly after that announcement President Saakashvili met with lawmakers from the parliamentary majority and said that “no radical changes” were expected in the new cabinet, “because the government mainly worked well.”

He said that Grigol Mgaloblishvili was “a very good ambassador” in Turkey – the country, which, he said, invested heavily in Georgia in recent years. “We need a Prime Minister who will be able to attract investments,” Saakashvili added.

He also praised the former prime minister and said that Lado Gurgenidze had to lead the government “in extremely difficult period of time” for Georgia – there was war, plus “unprecedented world financial crisis.”

Saakashvili said that the new financial and investment commission, or council – he referred to the new body in a both ways – of which Gurgenidze will be a chairman, will operate at the President’s office.

“This body will coordinate attraction of investment and oversight of the banking sector. This is a special body, which is created in connection with the international financial crisis and this council’s goal will be to avert the financial crisis consequences for the country,” Saakashvili said.

“We now face new challenges and huge threats… Existential threat hangs over Georgia like a Damocles’ sword,” he said referring to Russia. “Resolving these challenges need new force and new cadre.”

“New radical democratic reforms are the only response to the challenges – I do not have any other recipe to offer to the new cabinet… We need more liberal economy,” he added.

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