TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili says he will name his successor on Tuesday or Wednesday next week.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the economy minister and one of the possible candidates, is now excluded from the list, going by what the PM said, as Kvirikashvili will remain as vice premier.
Ivanishvili said this Thursday on Kavkasia TV, appearing next to the Georgian Dream coalition’s candidate for president, Giorgi Margvelashvili.
The next prime minister will have increased power, as Georgia shifts to a parliamentary republic some time after Sunday’s election. Who will replace Ivanishvili has therefore become one of the central questions in the country’s politics lately. The outgoing PM has promised to leave office after the presidential election and repeated this for the last months.
But Ivanishvili has refused to reveal the name of his successor until after the presidential poll. It is the political bloc with the strongest showing in last year’s parliamentary election which must name a candidate. This was the Georgian Dream coalition, and its founder Ivanishvili has said that people will know who the new PM will be on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Ivanishvili is confident that his coalition’s candidate, Margvelashvili, will win in the first round of the election. Then he will name the candidate for PM after a few days.
“The new prime minister will be much more effective than me. He will be working only for the government,” he said on Kavkasia.
It was believed that the candidates for future PM would be either the interior or economy minister, since Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili is his favorite and Economy Minister Kvirikashvili holds the post of Vice Prime Minister.
Before going into politics a year ago, Gharibashvili used to work at Bank Kartu and a charity fund Ivanishvili runs.
He was appointed to the post as interior minister after the parliamentary election in 2012 and for a whole year Ivanishvili has described him as his best minister. He repeated the same on Kavkasia on Thursday.
“Irakli Gharibashvili did magic. Do you see what a well-mannered police we have now?” he asked.
The PM said Kvirikashvili will remain in his current post, which means that he can’t be a candidate for PM. He continued saying that the new prime minister will also know economy, which can be perceived as another indication that he has Gharibashvili in mind, because even though Gharibashvili is interior minister, he used to work on economic issues at Kartu Bank.
After leaving his post, the PM plans to work in the civil sector.
“I’m not leaving anywhere, I’m coming,” he said, adding that he has a 20-year plan to strengthen the civil sector, where he says a lot needs to be done.