Finance Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze Tapped to be Georgia’s Next Prime Minister
The ruling Georgian Dream party has tapped Finance Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, former CEO of the Georgian Railway, to lead the Government of Georgia.
The announcement was made by MP Archil Talakvadze, the leader of the Georgian Dream majority group, following the party leadership meeting today, which was attended by GD founder and leader Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Bakhtadze opened his four-minute acceptance speech by thanking the ruling party members and Bidzina Ivanishvili for his nomination. “This is a great honor and a great responsibility for me,” he said.
The PM-designate then briefly outlined some of his programic priorities, listing the “completion of Georgian people’s historical choice – integration into the Euro-Atlantic space” as his first priority. “The Georgian Dream has great achievements to that end and these successes need to be further strengthened and reinforced,” he added.
The second priority, according to the incoming Prime Minister, will be “innovative and fundamental” reforms that will lead to “a new economic model – new fair rules of the game that will affect every Georgian family, every citizen.”
“We will manage to reduce the gap between high level of democracy and the economic situation,” he explained, adding that his government would also continue “developing and strengthening democratic institutions.”
Bakhtadze pointed out that his third priority would be based on “the concept of small government.” “Georgia needs small, and simultaneously, very flexible and effective government institutions; at the same time, I consider it necessary to strengthen institutional and public control over the institutions, including through anti-corruption activities,” he stressed.
The third and the government’s “absolute” priority, according to PM-designate, would be the education reform. “It is exactly the enthusiastic, educated, entrepreneurial and confident youth who will place Georgia on the map of developed economies, and it is exactly such a Georgia that we offer to our Abkhaz and [South] Ossetian brothers, so that we return to a single family,” he quipped.
Bakhtadze also underscored that “an individual, the main value of the Georgian Dream” would remain his Government’s principal value. “Our initiatives and efforts will be tailored to the needs of people; they will aim at improving their freedoms and living conditions, as well as at creating an environment that will enable them to use their skills in their own country,” he said.
“I am convinced that we will manage this together, and Georgia will become a strong, united, European country,” the PM-designate concluded.
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