SHEVARDNADZE FORMING NEW CABINET.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 153
Georgia’s recently inaugurated president Eduard Shevardnadze submitted December 11 a list of ministerial nominees for consideration by the parliament. The outgoing deputy prime minister, Irakly Menagarishvili is nominated as foreign minister in place of Alexander Chikvaidze. A medical doctor by profession and Health Minister under the late president Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Menagarishvili has no diplomatic experience–an indication that Shevardnadze plans to personally control foreign policy. The experienced diplomat Chikvaidze is said to have fallen from grace after some critical remarks concerning Shevardnadze’s domestic and foreign policies. Defense Minister Vardiko Nadibaidze is renominated; First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Kakha Targamadze is nominated to lead that ministry; and the current Internal Affairs Minister, Shota Kviraia, who has enforced Shevardnadze’s purge of disloyal security officers, is nominated to head the State Security Ministry, which is being upgraded from state committee. The ministerial list will be discussed by the relevant parliamentary committees before endorsement at a plenary session of parliament scheduled for December 15. On December 8, the parliament endorsed the former mayor of Tbilisi, Niko Lekishvili as minister of state, second only to Shevardnadze himself in the executive hierarchy. Shevardnadze last week restructured the cabinet into an advisory body and eliminated the position of prime minister, creating instead the post of minister of state to coordinate government activities and act as the president’s liaison with the cabinet and parliament. (17)
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