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Georgian PM announces third woman in cabinet

30 March 2018
Maia Tskitishvili (news.ge)

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has announced that the new Minister of Infrastructure will be Maia Tskitishvili, the head of the government’s administration. She will replace Zurab Alavidze, who is resigning to return to the private sector, the PM said. Tskitishvili, who has headed the government administration since 2012, will be the third woman in the 14 member cabinet of ministers.

Kvirikashvili announced the changes at a briefing at the government chancellery on 30 March. He said he had put a lot of effort into persuading Alavidze, who had been in government since November 2016, to join the public sector.

‘From the very start he used to say he couldn’t imagine himself in the public sector in a long term perspective. Several days ago, he addressed me with a request to return to the private sector. For several days I’ve been trying to persuade him to stay. I was unable to, so I have accepted his request’, Kvirikashvili said.

He said he sure Tskitishvili will be a very successful minister.

Responding to recent media speculation about his own possible resignation, Kvirikashvili insisted he is not going anywhere for the coming years.

‘As for those who are circling the 11th floor of the administration like crows and have switched on a timer for my resignation — this timer is not going off for several years at least, so may they rest and have a good sleep while Georgia progresses’, Kvirikashvili said.

Women in Georgian politics

There is a markedly low representation of women in politics in Georgia. Currently, only 16% of Georgian MPs are women. After the 2017 local government elections, the political presence of women grew by 1.5% in local self-governing bodies, reaching 13.5%. There is only one woman among the country’s 64 elected mayors. In 22 out of 64 city councils, there were no women elected as majoritarian councillors.