Georgia’s ruling party nominates defense minister for PM post

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TBILISI, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — The ruling Georgian Dream party has nominated Defense Minister Irakli Garibashvili for the post of prime minister, after the resignation of Giorgi Gakharia earlier Thursday.

Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of the Georgian Dream party, told a briefing that “the political council (of the party) unanimously decided to name Irakli Garibashvili as a candidate for prime minister.”

According to the Constitution of Georgia, the parliament will have two weeks to approve a new prime minister and cabinet.

If the parliament fails to approve the new government, the president will dismiss the parliament and snap parliamentary elections will be scheduled.

Garibashvili was appointed the country’s defense minister in September 2019 and continued in the role after the 2020 parliamentary elections. Previously, he had served as prime minister between November 2013 and December 2015.

Earlier Thursday, Gakharia announced his resignation, citing disputes with the ruling party over the detention of the head of the opposition United National Movement party Nika Melia as the main reason.

The Tbilisi City Court on Wednesday ruled that Melia be remanded in custody for failure to post bail, as per the request of Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office.

The Georgian Parliament on Tuesday suspended Melia’s MP status, allowing the prosecution to demand his arrest and claiming the latter has not posted bail for his release in a case dating back to the June 2019 protests. Enditem

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