New Cabinet Led by Giorgi Gakharia Wins a Vote of Confidence in Parliament
The Government of Georgia led by Giorgi Gakharia wins a unanimous vote of confidence, with 85 votes in favor, in the Parliament.
The Cabinet features one new member, namely Gocha Lortkipanidze who will serve as Justice Minister.
The legislative body also voted in favor of the 2021-2024 Government Program: Toward Building a European State.
Press Service of the Government Administration
The Committees held the last hearing of the candidates for the Ministries
At the joint sitting, the Human Rights and Civil Integration, the Legal Issues, the Defense and Security, and the Procedural Issues and Rules Committees discussed the vote of confidence for the Cabinet of Ministers.
At the sitting, the Committees heard the candidates for the Ministers, Juansher Burchuladze, Gocha Lortkipanidze, Tea Akhvlediani and Vakhtang Gomelauri.
The candidate for the Defense Minister, J. Burchuladze reported about the reforms and NATO inter-operability programs, defense capacity of the country and military cooperation with the partner states.
He stressed two documents developed by the Ministry – the 10-year plan of development of the defense capacity, and the 4-year plan of defense strategic overview. Speaking about the plans, he dwelt on the importance of local military production and modernization of the aviation park. “Modernization of the air forces is a very important direction which will result in completely restored and rehabilitated airpark. At this stage, defense forces have already received the French air surveillance radars, mobile command point and “Mistal-3” rackets. We also actively implement the agreement signed with the largest Israeli military industry envisaging the modernization of air defense systems”.
He dwelt on the NATO inter-operability program and security of the country noting that Georgia is ready to take final steps for accession to the EU and NATO and end Russian aggression in the country. “I am glad and honored to enjoy the opportunity to contribute in this process and make it irreversible”.
The candidate for the Justice Minister, G. Lortkipanidze congratulated the attendees on the 100th jubilee of the Constitution and informed MPs about the Ministry priorities and activity. He dwelt on the enforcement of the ECHR decision and informed the Committees about the bills developed by the Ministry.
As of the plans, he stressed the construction of the Public Service Halls and Public Centers for simplification and accessibility to public services.
The candidate for the State Minister, T. Akhvlediani introduced the part of the Governmental program based on the peacekeeping initiative and stability. She stressed the gross human rights violations in the occupied regions, humanitarian and social crisis and importance of the peaceful resolution of the challenges. “We set as the priority to enhance the non-recognition policy at the international theatre, full de-occupation and human-oriented reconciliation and engagement policy envisaging the approximation of conflict-divided societies, facilitation of restoration of dialogue and creation of dignified conditions for these people”.
The candidate for the Interior Minister, Vakhtang Gomelauri reported on the reforms, engagement of the Ministry in countering the pandemic, and types and statistics of the registered crimes.
He stressed the importance of the reforms and mentioned reforming of the criminal policy and updated armament for the police, qualification of the personnel, stricter drug policy etc. “Within the reform of the criminal police, we have set up the Main Office for Juveniles in Tbilisi Police Department to respond to the administrative offenses and crimes committed by the juveniles in the Capital. The Ministry keeps the creation of the environment adjusted to the juveniles, updating the armament of the police personnel and implementing the stricter drug policy. In 2020, 71 drug dealers have been punished by criminal responsibility for the sale of the drugs. The key challenge in this direction was the internet sale of drugs, which is an increasing tendency in the world. In response, we have set up the specialized division in the Central Criminal Police Department”.
He dwelt on the patrol and border police, rescue service, and new services by Service Agency.
The candidates answered the questions concerning their spheres of activity.
After the report, the Committees approved the vote of confidence.
Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia resigns
Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia has resigned. He made his resignation statement at a special briefing at the government administration.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia resigned citing disagreement with his party colleagues over the detention of Nika Melia, leader of UNM. This follows the Tbilisi City Court’s decision to send United National Movement’s Nika Melia, Chairperson of the largest opposition party, to pretrial detention.
“Unfortunately, I could not reach a common understanding on this matter with my team and decided to resign. I want to hope, that this step would contribute to reduced polarisation in our political space, since I believe that polarization and confrontation pose the greatest risks to our country’s future and economic development,” G. Gakharia stated.
G. Gakharia’s statement said that while Melia had “never respected the law” and called “for the storming of the Parliament” on June 20, the decision to detain him poses unacceptable risks, and unduly complicates the task of economic recovery and the management of pandemic.
Prime Minister meets with Iran’s Foreign Minister, discusses regional state of affairs and development of bilateral trade and economic ties
Today, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia held a meeting with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The conversation focused on the situation in the region, including the latest developments, and Georgia's key role in the region's economic development and regional stability alike.
The parties also discussed bilateral and regional relations. In the context of bilateral relations, special emphasis was placed on the trade and economic ties between the two countries, also the importance of cementing their transit and transport communications, tapping into the potential in these areas, and dealing with area-specific difficulties in a timely manner.
The dialogue also touched on the pandemic-related situations and future plans in both countries.
The Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran reaffirmed strong support for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The meeting at the Government's Administration was attended by Georgia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Khvtisiashvili.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Statements Made Today by Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting
Irrespective of the fact that we all understand the prudence of measures taken so far, we need to make this decision and retain them till February 1. It was stated by Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Executive Government Meeting today.
As also noted by him, targeted restrictions resulted in a positively declining trend, though 1500 cases a day is still a high indicator for a country like Georgia.
"Almost a year has passed since we all together started a fight against the pandemic and this process continues both domestically and globally. As of today, we have 1177 cases resulting from the targeted restrictions that were imposed to lead to such a positively declining trend over 2 recent months. Nevertheless, we should all understand that in absolute numbers about 1500 COVID-19 cases a day is still a high number for Georgia. Irrespective of the fact that we all understand the prudence of measures taken so far, we need to make this decision and retain them till February 1. We all see what is happening in Europe. Situation is worsening everywhere. Restrictions are getting tighter elsewhere, though we will extend the current restrictions in the country till February 1 in this case" noted Giorgi Gakharia.
According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, relevant agencies subordinated to the Ministry of Health are actively working with representatives of the real economy and businesses to come up with specific measures and to create a possibility for reopening the economy as early and effectively as possible.
"These are test schemes, matters relating to vaccination and others. The Ministry of Health will be submitting a plan that we worked on together with representatives of real economy and businesses. We will have to slightly adjust our scheme of work for the upcoming phase to make sure that our fight with the epidemic gets successful, enabling us to effectively reopen the economy. We see 3 new priorities in the fight with the pandemic. First one is to adjust the scheme of testing. You may well be aware that the volume of testing has been increased in the country and we should continue doing so. Second and equally important is to maintain targeted restrictions wherever needed, which have served to be effective. Vaccination is of course among our priorities" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.
According to the Head of Government of Georgia, citizens will have all the quality vaccines that get authorization by the applicable international organizations.
"A lot of nonsense has been rumoured in relation to vaccination and we cannot even guess where these ideas or information come from. Designated Commission is established on matters related to vaccination, which is led by the Ministry of Health. The Commission has several aims and goals to achieve. First one is to address all the issues related to logistics. You may well be aware that different vaccines have different logistic regimes. Also, everything should be prepared for the readiness of the country to launch the actual vaccination. Second one is to define those target groups that will be vaccinated as a priority in the first instance. Third one is to ensure the supply of quality vaccines of international authorisation as early as possible not only through COVAX platform, but through other means as well. First two goals have already been dealt with by the Ministry of Health and a plan exists. They will be submitting it to the Council on Monday and will be endorsed at the upcoming Executive Government Meeting. Thus, no basis exists for any question marks. I once again stress that citizens of Georgia are to receive all those quality vaccines that will be authorised by applicable international organizations" stated Giorgi Gakharia.
In addition, targeted social assistance of citizens continues and applications are being lodged from individuals, who lost jobs in the second wave of the pandemic.
The Prime Minister of Georgia also explained that social allowances will be paid from January 28, 2021.
"It is 1200 GEL for 6 months. I wish to urge every citizen of the country to lodge their applications as soon as possible. As of today, 45 000 such applications have been uploaded to our portal" noted Giorgi Gakharia.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Georgia has ruled to continue helicopter flights to Tusheti. Applicable permission was issued today by the Government to the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the Executive Government Meeting.
"Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia should be given permission to continue helicopter flights to Tusheti. You may well be aware that it has a very important social significance for our citizens living in high terrain regions of the country, especially in winter and especially in Tusheti. Relevant means of mobility should be provided. It has been ensured for years by the Ministry of Internal Affairs with support of the Government and this program continues" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.
The Head of Government of Georgia also commented on the recent incidents occurring in Buknari village. In the opinion of Giorgi Gakharia, religious diversity is a wealth of the country and authorities are prepared to act in the most decisive manner every time an attempt occurs causing friction between the citizens of Georgia on religious grounds.
"Religious diversity is a historic reality and it is our wealth. We have been building our statehood over centuries. The Government of Georgia has always been and will remain to be a guarantor for each citizen to exercise their human freedoms and rights as promulgated in the Constitution of Georgia. We will never let anyone to limit human freedoms and rights in any form, though will neither allow anyone to provoke a friction between community members on religious grounds with any unlawful action. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has already been instructed on this matter. The State and Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia will act in the most decisive manner wherever a slight, plain attempt occurs leading to or provoking a friction between community members on religious grounds" concluded the Prime Minister of Georgia.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Inter-Agency Coordination Council Rules COVID Restrictions be Kept till February 1
Current COVID restrictions will be maintained till February 1. It was decided by the Inter-Agency Coordination Council led by Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia at the Government Administration today.
As instructed by the Head of Government of Georgia, intensive meetings will be held with business owners prior to the gradual removal of restrictions to make sure that maximum preparedness and high standards of public safety exist by that time in the trade sector and public transportation.
Inter-Agency Coordination Council also discussed the
Discussions were held at the Council Meeting on the current epidemic situation in the country, along with current efforts taken for the uninterrupted flow of the vaccination process. It was noted that the community transfer rate is stabilising as a result of imposed restrictions, though it should not relax us. Compliance with all the issued recommendations, including the social distancing and uniform wearing of face masks, remains vital.
Steps made by the Specialized Task Force established with the instructions of the Prime Minister of Georgia for the uninterrupted flow of COVID vaccination process in the country have been discussed at the meeting today as well. It was noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and overseas diplomatic missions of Georgia are engaged in the negotiations held on behalf of the State with international partners and pharmaceutical companies to make sure that first dozes of the COVID vaccine reach the country as early as possible.
The Inter-Agency Coordination Council also discussed the steps made by the Designated Commission established under the instructions of the Prime Minister of Georgia. Council was also briefed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the actions taken by the overseas diplomatic missions of Georgia towards this end. It was noted that negotiations are actively pursued concurrently with several pharmaceutical companies to make sure that vials reach the country as soon as possible. Nevertheless, international recognition of the vaccine is the most important precondition of the procurement. It should be cleared by the World Health Organization and should have an international acknowledgement. Also, it was noted that essential infrastructure already exists in the country for keeping vials in the required conditions and work progresses to build capacity towards this end. Besides, a specialised commission is actively working on the schedule of immunization, which defines the due target groups and stages of vaccination in the country.
Since the detection of the first case of COVID-19 in Georgia, 239 780 individuals have been proven positive through lab testing, out of which 226 215 individuals recovered and 2 796 died.
Currently 506 individuals are placed in quarantine, 722 - at clinical hotels and 3 929 - at hospitals under medical supervision.
The Inter-Agency Coordination Council led by the Prime Minister of Georgia actively engages the Parliament of Georgia chaired by MP Archil Talakvadze and Administration of the President of Georgia.
Press Service of the Government Administration