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Parliament supports President’s pick as NBG board member

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, March 7
Parliament approved the President’s pick, Koba Gvenetadze, as the seventh member of the Board of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG).

However, the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party did not support his candidacy.

Gvenetadze, who will replace NBG head Giorgi Kadagidze in the position, was supported by 81 lawmakers out of the 150-seat legislative body.

Margvelashvili selected Gvenetadze from a shortlist of three candidates proposed by experts and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in late January.

Gvenetadze worked as an economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2002 to 2015.

Before joining the IMF, Gvenetadze held various posts in the Georgian Government including a 2000-2001 run as Deputy Finance Minister.

From 1994-1996 Gvenetadze also acted as the chief economist at the NBG.

The rules dictated that once Kadagidze was no longer a board member, he was unable to remain the Bank’s president.

Since approved as the seventh member, the NBG Board is eligible to name a new NBG head from its members.

Gvenetadze, like other members of NBG board, has a chance to become a new chairperson of the country’s major bank.

Meanwhile, the UNM said that Gvenetadze would not settle problems in the Bank and in terms of country economy as Georgia was being run by “billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili,” who founded the Georgian Dream coalition and served as Prime Minister after defeating the UNM in the 2012 parliamentary race.

The opposition said the only positive outcome from the current hard economic situation would be the re-election of the UNM in this year’s parliamentary elections.