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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: [accessed 31 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis 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

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

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