Irakli Garibashvili (Georgian: ირაკლი ღარიბაშვილი, also transliterated as Gharibashvili; born June 28, 1982) is a Georgian politician and the current Minister of Defense of Georgia. He served as the Prime Minister of Georgia from November 20, 2013 until his resignation on December 29, 2015, and is a former business executive. Garibashvili entered politics with his long-time associate, the businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili, in October 2012. He served as Minister of Internal Affairs in the cabinet of Bidzina Ivanishvili from 2012 to 2013. Ivanishvili named Garibashvili as his successor as Prime Minister when he voluntarily stepped down in November 2013. Aged 31 at his ascension, he was the youngest person to assume the PM office. During his term, he was the second youngest state leader in the world, after Kim Jong-un.
|Minister of Defence|
|Assumed office |
September 8, 2019
|Preceded by||Levan Izoria|
|Political secretary of Georgian Dream|
|Assumed office |
March 5 2019
|Preceded by||George Volski|
|11th Prime Minister of Georgia|
November 20, 2013 – December 30, 2015
|Preceded by||Bidzina Ivanishvili|
|Succeeded by||Giorgi Kvirikashvili|
|Chairman of Georgian Dream|
November 15 2013 – December 30 2015
|Preceded by||Bidzina Ivanishvili|
|Succeeded by||Giorgi Kvirikashvili|
|Minister of Internal Affairs|
October 25, 2012 – November 17, 2013
|Prime Minister||Bidzina Ivanishvili|
|Preceded by||Ekaterine Zguladze (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Aleksandre Chikaidze|
|Born||June 28, 1982|
Tbilisi, Georgian SSR, USSR
|Political party||Georgian Dream (2012-2015) (2019-present)|
|Alma mater||Tbilisi State University|
From 1988 to 1999 Garibashvili attended the secondary school No. 1 in Dedoplistsqaro. From 1999 to 2005 Garibashvili studied International Relations at Tbilisi State University (TSU), where he graduated with a master's degree. He also studied at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University from 2002 to 2004. Since 2004, he has worked with the multi-billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. He started by working for logistics division of the construction company Burji, owned by Ivanshvili's Cartu Group. He became Director General of Ivanishvili's charity foundation Cartu in 2005, a member of the supervisory board of Ivanishvili's Cartu Bank in 2007 and director of the label Georgian Dream founded by Ivanishvili's pop-star son Bera in 2009.
Early political careerEdit
Garibashvili became involved in the politics of Georgia when Ivanishvili founded his political party Georgian Dream–Democratic Georgia in February 2012. Garibashvili was one of the founding members and initially headed the party’s revision committee. He was included in the party list of MP candidates for the October 2012 parliamentary election. After the coalition won the 2012 parliamentary election on October 1, Irakli Garibashvili became a party-list representative of the Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party in the 2012 convocation of the Parliament of Georgia.
Minister of Internal AffairsEdit
After Georgian Dream's victory in the 2012 parliamentary election, Garibashvili was appointed as Minister of Internal Affairs in the cabinet of Prime Minister Ivanishvili on October 25, 2012. Garibashvili, then 30 years old and described by the Georgian media as "Ivanishvili's right-hand man", became the youngest member of Georgia's new government. Reforming the Interior Ministry, an agency overseeing Georgian police, security and intelligence services, as well as the border guard and navy, was a part of the Georgian Dream's pre-election agenda.
From 2012 through 2013, the Interior Ministry arrested several high-ranking officials from the previous government, including the former ministers Bachana Akhalaia and Ivane Merabishvili. This led to concerns regarding selective justice and political vengeance and drew criticism from the domestic opposition and the international media. Garibashvili's agency also faced the post-election spike in crime in Georgia. Garibashvili defended the arrests as being in strict accordance with the law and justice and claimed that the rate of minor crime, albeit increased, was not alarming.
On November 2, 2013, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, who had declared his intention to quit the government following the October 2013 presidential election, named Garibashvili as his successor. He and his cabinet won in a vote of 93-19 in the Parliament of Georgia on November 20, 2013. Garibashvili thus occupied the most powerful political office in the country as the constitution amendments had transferred power from the president to the prime minister and the government. At heated parliamentary debates with the United National Movement minority during the vote, Garibashvili promised economic improvement and stressed that Georgia's EU and NATO aspiration would remain his foreign priorities. On November 24, 2013, he was elected chairman of the Georgian Dream–Democratic Georgia party, succeeding Ivanishvili. Garibashvili announced his resignation on December 23, 2015. While no reason was given for the sudden move, it was reported that he may have done so due to low levels of support for the Georgian Dream among the populace, with it polling at 18% in November, and parliamentary elections scheduled for 2016. Opposition politicians, analysts and media speculated that falling support for the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, pressure from the previous prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, or tensions with the president Giorgi Margvelashvili were possible explanations for Garibashvili's resignation. Garibashvili was succeeded as prime minister by Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who had been his Minister of Foreign Affairs, with the transfer of power taking effect on December 29.
During his tenure the Security and Crisis Management Council was established, as stipulated by the new Constitution of Georgia. In addition, the Unified Coordination Center for Crisis Management was created, with technical assistance from the US, the United Kingdom and Israel. To coordinate the country’s economic policy, Irakli Garibashvili established the Economic Council.
The Georgian Government initiated, and the European Union directly supported, the development of the Human Rights Strategy and Action Plan. A relevant statement was made by Prime Minister Garibashvili at the Human Rights Conference, on December 4, 2013. The Human Rights Strategy covers seven years and will not depend on the political cycle.
During his tenure, Garibashvili visited the neighboring countries Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, several European nations, the United States, Israel, the People's Republic of China, and participated in several international summits and forums. While relations to Russia improved, there was no state visits to and from Russia.
Relations to the European Union were a priority, culminating in the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, initiated at the Vilnius summit and signed on June 27, 2014. This association agreement included a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement between Georgia and the European Union and paved the way for the abolition of visa for travel from Georgia to the Schengen area, planned for 2017.
Return to private sectorEdit
Garibashvili is married to Nunuka Tamazashvili (born 1983), with three sons, Nikoloz (born 2005), Andria (born 2010), Gabriel (born 2015) and one daughter Nino (born 2016).  His father-in-law, Tamaz Tamazashvili, is a former police general who was arrested on charges of illegally carrying and keeping weapon and explosives in October 2011. Garibashvili, a member of then-opposition Georgian Dream party, claimed the arrest was politically motivated. After the Georgian Dream acceded to power in October 2012, Tamazashvili was released from prison.
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