Georgia: Saakashvili names close ally to be prime minister
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||30 June 2012|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Georgia: Saakashvili names close ally to be prime minister, 30 June 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ff6aa591e.html [accessed 1 March 2015]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
June 30, 2012
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has named a close ally, Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, to be the country's new prime minister.
Saakashvili's announcement on June 30 came as Georgian political forces are gearing up for parliamentary elections due in October.
Merabishvili will replace Nika Gilauri, who has been prime minister since early 2009. No announcement was made about a new interior minister.
Saakashvili said he was tasking Merabishvili to take steps to reduce the small Caucasian nation's high unemployment rate, reportedly at 16 percent, and implement other reforms.
Merabishvili, interior minister since late 2004, has won praise from international observers for implementing police reforms and a crackdown on corruption, but was criticized for harsh measures used to break up opposition rallies against Saakashvili's presidency.
His appointment is expected to be formally approved by parliament next week.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP