PM Bidzina Ivanishvili appointed on July 18 Tamar Sanikidze as new education minister replacing Giorgi Margvelashvili, who is the Georgian Dream coalition’s presidential candidate.
Tamar Sanikidze, who will turn 35 in August, was first deputy education minister before being promoted to the minister’s post. She was a financial director at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) before becoming the first deputy minister of education in October 2012. Margvelashvili served as a rector of GIPA before becoming the education minister in October, 2012.
Margvelashvili has said previously that although the law was not obligating him to quit the minister’s post, he would have resigned in order not to give rise to allegations of misuse of administrative resources during the campaign for presidency.
Sanikidze, who became the fourth female member of PM Ivanishvili’s cabinet, did not require Parliament’s approval to take the post. Parliament’s authorization is only needed when third of cabinet members are replaced.
It was the second change in PM Ivanishvili’s cabinet since GD coalition came into government in October, 2012. Agriculture Minister, Davit Kirvalidze, had to resign after several officials from his ministry were arrested over alleged corruption case in early May; trial is pending.