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Georgian PM confirms gov’t reshuffle

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, June 18
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze confirmed on Monday that the government will reshuffle.

Bakhtadze responded to speculations regarding the possible dismissal of Health Minister David Sergeenko and urged journalists to wait.

“Let’s do not go ahead of the events. There will be a reshuffle and new blood in the team. Sergeenko has always been and will always be a loyal and successful member of our team,” Bakhtadze said.

Sergeenko has neither confirmed nor denied the media reports on his possible resignation.

The opposition says that money has been misspent in various health programs, and Sergeenko’s resignation will not solve the problem, “which comes from the whole government.”

Members of the Georgian Dream ruling party have already praised Sergeenko as one of the most successful ministers, who “took effective steps” to dramatically decrease the number of people with Hepatitis C in Georgia,” thanks to the US-Georgia Hepatitis C Elimination Programme launched in 2015.

Bakhtadze, meanwhile, has dismissed reports on his resignation and replacing him with current Infrastructure Minister Maia Tskitishvili.

“There are no such plans,” he said.

Sergeenko has served as the Minister of Health since 2012 when the Georgian Dream coalition defeated the nine-year-rule of the United National Movement.

He is one of the exceptions in the Cabinet to have retained the post so long.

Bakhtadze was appointed to the Prime Minister’s post last year, after controversies between former PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Georgian Dream party founder Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Between 2005 and 2006 Bakhtadze, 37, served as the project manager of the Georgian Railway.

In 2010-2012 he was the director general of Georgia’s International Energy Corporation.

In 2013- 2017, before taking the finance minister’s post, he served as the director general of Georgian Railway.