Irakli Garibashvili (right) and Irakli Kobakhidze (

TBILISI, DFWatch–After Georgian Dream founder Bidzina Ivanishvili returned to public politics in late December, everyone in Georgia expected major upheavals in the government, although only a small number of commentators predicted dismissal of the prime minister.

However, this became clear on Sunday, when the pro-government TV company Imedi reported that the chairman of Georgian Dream and the PM would exchange their positions. This cadre reshuffle was decided on January 24 at the meeting of GD political council, Imedi reported.

Although the members of Irakli Garibashvili cabinet will perform their duties until the approval of the new PM, there are already active talks that many ministers will leave their offices.

According to the opposition TV Company Mtavari Arkhi, in addition to Garibashvili, six members of his cabinet – ministers of Defense, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Culture and Healthcare, and the head of the State Security Service (SUS) – will probably be replaced. Mtavari Arkhi offers name of only one replacement – MoD will be taken over by Irakli Chikovani, Georgian Dream MP.

On Monday, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili announced at a special briefing in the government administration that he is resigning, without mentioning any convincing reason for this decision.

Garibashvili added that received an offer from the GD political council to assume the position of the ruling party chairman.

Georgian Dream also confirmed on Monday that Irakli Kobakhidze, its chairman, is being considered as a candidate for Prime Minister.

“I won’t hide from you that at the political council [meeting] we discussed the possibility of staying until the summer, before the start of the election campaign, but I’ve opted to make this decision now. It is important that the next prime minister presents his team on time and forms a new government. I wish success to the new PM. It is a great honor and responsibility for me to continue working, to take an active part in the election process and in the development of our country in general”, Irakli Gharibashvili said.

According the Constitution of Georgia, in case of the resignation of the Prime Minister, the government shall continue to perform its duties until the appointment of a new PM.

The powers of the PM, however, cease immediately upon resignation.

On the other hand, the Parliament has a two-week period to approve new PM and his/her cabinet and program.

The party with the best results in the elections has the right to nominate a candidate for the position of Prime Minister.

In this context, after Bidzina Ivanishvili became the honorary chairman, a change was made in the charter of the Georgian Dream party, according to which the honorary chairperson is entitled to presented PM candidate to the party.

In order to receive parliament’s trust, the support of the majority of the full composition of the parliament, 76 deputies, is needed. Georgian Dream currently has at least 84 votes at its disposal.