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PM Mgaloblishvili Resigns
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 30 Jan.'09 / 18:06

PM Grigol Mgaloblishvili has resigned three months after taking the post, citing his health condition.

Mgaloblishvili said on January 30, that he had suggested the President to consider nominating Nika Gilauri, the finance minister and first vice premier, for the PM’s position.

Mgaloblishvili, 35, has spent most of this month either in Germany or in Tbilisi hospital, according to the official information, undergoing medical examination related with kidney problems.

“I still need two months of intensive medical treatment,” he said at a news conference on January 30. “Today Georgia can not afford itself PM, who can not be in usual working mode for three months. The country needs the cabinet and the Prime Minister capable of working round-the-clock.”

The move did not come as a surprise. There has been widespread speculation in the Georgian press in recent weeks about Mgaloblishvili’s intention to resign following his alleged dispute with President Saakashvili; the press has been predicting that the health problems would have been cited as a reason behind the resignation.

Asked about these reports, Mgaloblishvili responded that President Saakashvili “has spoken broadly about it and I do not think there is need to make more comments on that.” 

Saakashvili said during his televised question and answer session with the public on January 23 that there were “some people spending day and night creating” this type of rumors.

The Parliament approved Grigol Mgaloblishvili and his cabinet on November 1. Before that he served as Georgia’s ambassador to Turkey and had never before been involved in the politics.

The press has also been predicting that First Vice Premier, Nika Gilauri, would be nominated to replace Mgaloblishvili. The former PM told journalists on January 30, that it was highly probable.

Mgaloblishvili also said that he did not expect “any major changes” in the new cabinet.

Changes into the government were expected anyway in early February, related with creation of two new ministries – one for penitentiary and probation and another one for regional development and infrastructure. The latter will be led by Davit Tkeshelashvili, currently a state minister for regional issues. Deputy Interior Minister, Eka Zguladze, has been rumored to take the post of Minister for Penitentiary and Probation.

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