After more than seven hours of debate, the Georgian parliament, by 85 votes (there was no opposition), expressed confidence in the renewed government headed by Giorgi Gakharia and approved the new government program “Building a European State”.
There was only one chance in the government – Gocha Lortkipanidze was nominated to the vacant post of the Minister of Justice. The other ministers retained their previous positions.
The cabinet of ministers included: Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure – Maia Tskitishvili, Minister of Justice – Gocha Lortkipanidze, Minister of Interior – Vakhtang Gomelauri, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development – Natia Turnava, Minister of Foreign Affairs – David Zalkaliani, Minister of Finance – Ivane Machavariani, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports – Mikhail Chhenkeli (in the near future, from this ministry the sphere of culture will be removed), Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labor, Health and Social Affairs – Ekaterina Tikaradze, Minister of Environment and Agriculture – Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Defense – Irakli Garibashvili and Minister of State for Reconciliation and Civil Equality – Tea Akhvlediani.
The main goal of the “Building a European State” program is to overcome the crisis created by the pandemic, quickly restore and develop the economy, create a stable and safe environment for every citizen, and continue structural reforms.
“At the same time, the country will continue its efforts towards strengthening democracy and striving for European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Georgia. The main task of the next years will be institutional, economic, and social preparation of the country to apply for full EU membership in 2024. Based on these goals, the efforts of the Georgian government to quickly restore and develop the country’s economy and build a strong, unified, and democratic state will focus on the following four key areas: foreign policy, security, conflict resolution, and human rights, economic development, social policy and human capital development, and public administration,” the government says.
EADaily reported that elections for the Georgian parliament of the tenth convocation were held in two rounds on October 31 and November 21. “The Georgian Dream won 90 out of the 150 seats in parliament (48.24 percent, or 60 proportional and 30 majoritarian seats). The remaining 60 seats were distributed among the eight opposition parties, Power in Unity (United National Movement) – 27.16% (36 mandates), European Georgia – 3.79% (5 mandates), “Lelo for Georgia” – 3.16% (4 mandates), “Alliance of Patriots” – 3.14% (4 mandates), “Agmashenebeli Strategy” – 3.15% (4 mandates), “Hirschi” – 2.89% (4 mandates), “Citizens” – 1.33% (2 mandates) and the Labor Party – 1% (2 mandates).
All eight opposition parties that were elected to the new parliament refuse to recognize the results, demanding a repeat election. In connection with the political crisis, the talks between the authorities and the opposition are held under the mediation of US Ambassador Kelly Degnan and Karl Hartzel, head of the EU Delegation to Georgia. Following the four rounds of talks (on the 12th and 14th of November and the 7th and 8th of December), despite the authorities’ willingness to carry out fundamental reform of the electoral system, the parties were unable to reach a compromise.