Archil Khabadze, who until recently was director of PM Bidzina Ivanishvili-affiliated Cartu Bank’s Batumi branch office, has been appointed as head of the Adjara Autonomous Republic’s government.
Local legislative body of the autonomous republic, Supreme Council, elected Khabadze with 13 votes on October 30.
PM Bidzina Ivanishvili-led Georgian Dream coalition has 13 seats in Adjara’s newly elected 21-member Supreme Council; President Saakashvili’s United National Movement (UNM) has eight members.
Khabadze has replaced President Saakashvili’s ally, Levan Varshalomidze, who served as head of Adjara’s government since July, 2004.
“Under Varshalomidze’s leadership in recent eight years, Adjara has turned from provincial dictatorship into the Europe’s fastest developing region. We have really achieved unimaginable progress,” President Saakashvili said on October 29 in Batumi. “I want to thank Levan Varshalomidze and his team for the miracle he made here… We have moved into the opposition and he [Varshalomidze] will be the leader of local opposition here [in Adjara].”
PM Bidzina Ivanishvili named 32-year-old Archil Khabadze as his favorite candidate for the post of head of the Adjara Autonomous Republic’s government on October 28. Supreme Council confirmed him on the post after President Saakashvili formally nominated Khabadze as a candidate.
After graduating Batumi State University’s faculty of banks and finances, Khabadze studied the same field at the Georgian Agrarian University. He was head of credit department at Cartu Bank’s Batumi branch office since 2006 before he was promoted as head of the bank's Batumi branch office in 2008.
Ivanishvili, who attended inaugural session of the Adjara’s Supreme Council on October 28, said that Khabadze “is a very good manager” and that his young age was his “only weakness”; but he also added that this weakness would turn into his advantage as Khabadze “will have more energy” to tackle challenges.
Adjara’s government is made up of its head and four ministerial portfolios.
Giorgio Tavartkiladze, head of VTB bank’s branch office in Batumi, will take the post of minister of finance and economy.
Nugzar Surmanidze, an employee of Adjara’s ministry for healthcare and social protection, will be promoted as head of this ministry.
Gia Tamamaishvili, head of the National Examinations Center’s unit in Adjara, will become the minister of education, culture and sport.
Zaur Putkaradze, a co-owner of Batumi-based agriculture company Farmers’ House, will be appointed as autonomous republic’s minister of agriculture.