The ministers have left the cabinet
30 April, 2015
The ministers have left the cabinet
Political pundits are discussing Irakli Gharibashvili’s probable resignation, which will most likely be accompanied by premature parliamentary elections.

“According to experts, current Healthcare Minister Davit Sergeenko will be appointed prime minister prior to the elections, while current Vice-PM Kakha Kaladze will become prime minister after the elections are over.”

Last week saw the resignation of three ministers due to ‘personal reasons.’ Davit Shavliashvili, now former Infrastructure and Development Minister, cited his poor health condition as the reason for his resignation.
His colleague, now former Environment Minister Elguja Khokrishvili, said he wanted to spend more time with his family in Germany. Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Levan Kipiani claimed that he resigned in order to avoid speculation about himself after the entirety of the Parliamentary Sports Committee came down on his head with severe criticism of his ministerial activity.

The speed with which these events have unfolded gives justifiable suspicion to there being far more reasons for the resignations than what was stated in the former ministers’ official letters. Further suspicion is fueled by the rampant rumors of ex-PM Ivanishvili replacing government entity staff, appointed by PM Gharibashvili, with Ivanishvili’s own people.
Let us take a chronological look at the events. Back in the day, portfolios of Davit Shavliashvili and Elguja Khokrishvili were approved thanks to the recommendation of Zviad Jankarashvili, cousin of the prime minister’s wife. Moreover, Jankarashvili himself used to be a very influential figure within the ruling coalition. First he presided over the General Inspectorate, and then he became Secretary General of Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream party. However, soon afterward, the prime minister’s relative had to leave not only both of his posts, but also the country. Bidzina Ivanishvili is considered to be the main figure behind his departure, having publicly called relatives of the incumbent prime minister his main problem.
Nevertheless, the fact is that the Ministerial Cabinet is now completely purged of Irakli Gharibashvili’s people. The post of Minister of Infrastructure has already been occupied by a member of Ivanishvili’s group Nodar Javakhishvili, and there is almost no doubt that the remaining two vacancies will also be filled by members of the ex-PM’s inner circle.
Moreover, political pundits are also discussing the prospect of the delegitimization of Irakli Gharibashvili and his probable resignation, which will most likely be accompanied by premature parliamentary elections. Some experts think that, following Bidzina Ivanishvili’s orders, premature elections will be held on the 5th of September and that current Healthcare Minister Davit Sergeenko will be appointed prime minister prior to the elections, while current Vice-PM Kakha Kaladze will become prime minister after the elections are over.
However, before anything of the sort happens, the government has to go through a series of legal procedures. Namely, reconstituting itself after the automatic dissolution following the Sports Minister’s departure, due to him being the seventh Cabinet minister to resign. According to the Constitution, if a third of the Cabinet’s members leave, then the new Cabinet needs to undergo a confidence vote from Parliament. The Cabinet consists of twenty members, including the prime minister. He can dismiss and appoint six of them at will without repercussions, but if a seventh leaves, the government is declared dissolved and its reaffirmation ends up on the Parliament’s agenda.
The Constitution also states that the president should present the new Cabinet of ministers, selected by the prime minister, to Parliament within seven days of its dissolution. In order to reaffirm the Parliament’s confidence, a majority vote of approval (75 of 149) is required for the full list of new ministers. If approval is granted, then the president should, within two days, sign his approval of the Parliament’s decision. If the president declines to sign the decree, the prime minister and the Cabinet will be appointed nevertheless.
If there is a problem with the parliament granting approval of the new Cabinet or if any of the associated legal procedures are violated in the process (if the first confidence vote does not pass, a second vote will be held in 30 days; if it also fails, a parliamentary minority names its prime minister), the president has the power to dismiss the parliament and call for premature elections.

Author: Rusudan Shelia
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