Irakli Garibashvili

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Irakli Garibashvili
ირაკლი ღარიბაშვილი
Irakli Garibashvili October 2021.jpg
Garibashvili in 2021
11th Prime Minister of Georgia
Assumed office
22 February 2021
PresidentSalome Zourabichvili
Preceded byGiorgi Gakharia
In office
20 November 2013 – 30 December 2015
PresidentGiorgi Margvelashvili
Preceded byBidzina Ivanishvili
Succeeded byGiorgi Kvirikashvili
Chairman of Georgian Dream
In office
15 November 2013 – 30 December 2015
Preceded byBidzina Ivanishvili
Succeeded byGiorgi Kvirikashvili
Minister of Defence
In office
8 September 2019 – 22 February 2021
Prime MinisterGiorgi Gakharia
Preceded byLevan Izoria
Succeeded byJuansher Burchuladze
Minister of Internal Affairs
In office
25 October 2012 – 17 November 2013
Prime MinisterBidzina Ivanishvili
Preceded byEkaterine Zguladze (Acting)
Succeeded byAleksandre Chikaidze
Political Secretary of Georgian Dream
Assumed office
5 March 2019
Preceded byGia Volski
Personal details
Born (1982-06-28) 28 June 1982 (age 40)
Tbilisi, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union
(now Georgia)
Political partyGeorgian Dream (2012–2015, 2019–present)
Spouse(s)Nunuka Tamazashvili
Alma materTbilisi State University
Pantheon-Sorbonne University

Irakli Garibashvili (Georgian: ირაკლი ღარიბაშვილი, also transliterated as Gharibashvili; born 28 June 1982[1]) is a Georgian politician, and the prime minister of Georgia since 22 February 2021. He previously served as prime minister from 20 November 2013 until his resignation on 30 December 2015, and is a former business executive. Garibashvili entered politics with his long-time associate Bidzina Ivanishvili, in October 2012.

He served as Minister of Internal Affairs in the cabinet of prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili from 2012 to 2013. Ivanishvili named Garibashvili as his successor as prime minister when he voluntarily stepped down in November 2013.[2] Aged 31 at his ascension, he was the youngest person to assume the PM office. During his first term, he was the second youngest state leader in the world, after Kim Jong-un.[3]

Early career[edit]

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.[4][5][6]

Early political career[edit]

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.[5] 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 1 October, Irakli Garibashvili became a party-list representative of the Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party in the 2012 convocation of the Parliament of Georgia.[7]

Minister of Internal Affairs[edit]

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 25 October 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10][11]

First Premiership[edit]

On 2 November 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.[12] He and his cabinet won in a vote of 93-19[13] in the Parliament of Georgia on 20 November 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.[2]

On 24 November 2013, he was elected chairman of the Georgian Dream–Democratic Georgia party, succeeding Ivanishvili.[14] Garibashvili announced his resignation on 23 December 2015.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17] 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 29 December.[18]

Government initiatives[edit]

During his tenure the Security and Crisis Management Council was established, as stipulated by the new Constitution of Georgia.[19] In addition, the Unified Coordination Center for Crisis Management was created, with technical assistance from the US, the United Kingdom and Israel.[20] To coordinate the country's economic policy, Irakli Garibashvili established the Economic Council.[21]

Human rights[edit]

The Georgian Government initiated, and the European Union directly supported, the development of the Human Rights Strategy and Action Plan.[22] A relevant statement was made by prime minister Garibashvili at the Human Rights Conference, on 4 December 2013. The Human Rights Strategy covers seven years and will not depend on the political cycle.[23]

Foreign policy[edit]

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.[24]

Relations to the European Union were a priority, culminating in the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, initiated at the Vilnius summit and signed on 27 June 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.[25][26]

Return to private sector[edit]

In February 2018, Garibashvili became the regional adviser to the board of the CEFC China Energy company.[27]

Second Premiership[edit]

Garibashvili with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in Baku, 5 May 2021

Nika Melia, chairman of the United National Movement party, was accused of organizing mass violence during the anti-government protests in 2019. When Melia declined to pay a $12,000 bail, a Georgian court ruled that Melia should be detained before his trial. In response, prime minister Giorgi Gakharia said the court's ruling was "unlawful", and on 18 February, Gakharia resigned over the decision to detain Melia.[28] Melia was arrested while at United National Movement party headquarters on 23 February.[29] The ruling Georgian Dream party supported Garibashvili to replace Gakharia, and the Parliament voted 89–2 to appoint Garibashvili on 22 February.[30]

As a result of the outbreak of the 2022 Russian invasion in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and fears that Russia might once again invade Georgia as it did in 2008, on 3 March 2022, Prime Minister Garibashvili signed the letter with which the country officially applied for membership in the European Union (EU).[31] The same day, Moldova (which experiences troubles regarding the Russian backed separatist state Transnistria) also signed its letter to officially apply for EU membership.[32]

Political positions[edit]

Garibashvili has been described as a conservative-leaning politician.[33] On several occasions, most notably with the Gay Pride march, he backed the conservative side of the debate, adopting a majoritarian approach while noting that "95% of our population are against holding propagandistic parade in a demonstrative manner" so as an elected official he should follow that. Garibashvili added that Georgia "is a conservative society" and has unique values based on Orthodox Christianity, emphasizing that the minority should not decide fate of the majority.[34] In 2014 he proposed to solidify the definition of marriage as union between a man and a woman in the Constitution of Georgia to balance the opposition from conservatives and Orthodox Church to the adoption of the Anti-Discrimination law, which was Georgia's precondition to get a visa free regime with the EU.[35]

Garibashvili denounced small-state solutions to Georgia's economic woes, highlighting that the "small government idea is a myth impeding the country's development" and calling on the government to play an active role in economy.[36]

Personal life[edit]

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).[37][38] 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.[39]


  1. ^ Prime Minister of Georgia: Irakli Garibashvili Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Government of Georgia. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b New PM Wins Confidence Vote Archived 21 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Civil Georgia. 20 November 2013.
  3. ^ "BREAKING: Georgia's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili Resigns". Georgia Today. 23 December 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  4. ^ "ირაკლი ღარიბაშვილის ბიოგრაფია" (in Georgian). Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Biography of the Prime Minister". Government of Georgia. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Georgia: Interior Minister Irakli Gharibashvili Proposed as PM". Eurasianet. 2 November 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Gharibashvili biography". Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  8. ^ New Interior Minister Names his Deputies. Civil Georgia. 30 October 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  9. ^ Ivanishvili: Saakashvili's Lobbying 'Will Not Stop Restoring Justice'. Civil Georgia. 30 November 2012. Accessed 8 December 2012.
  10. ^ Interior Minister: Recent arrests are fair. Georgian Online. 12 November 2012. Accessed 8 December 2012.
  11. ^ Interior Minister speaks about the rise in crime. The Messenger. 30 November 2012. Accessed 8 December 2012.
  12. ^ "Garibashvili Named as Next PM". Civil Georgia. 2 November 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Georgia's Parliament Approves New Prime Minister". ABC News. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  14. ^ Ivanishvili: 'I Quit Politics, But Remain Active Citizen'. Civil Georgia. 24 November 2013.
  15. ^ (23 December 2015). "PM Irakli Garibashvili Resigns". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  16. ^ Metreveli, Irakli (23 December 2015). "Georgia prime minister resigns after two years". Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  17. ^ Fuller, Liz (24 December 2015). "Did Georgia's 'Informal Leader' Pressure Prime Minister To Resign?". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  18. ^ (29 December 2015). "Kvirikashvili Confirmed as New PM". Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  19. ^ "". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  20. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 November 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. ^ Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ "Georgia Advances in Human Rights". UNDP in Georgia. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
  23. ^ "National Human Rights Strategy of Georgia". Georgian Government for Your Rights. Archived from the original on February 3, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  24. ^ "Prime Minister's Visits and Meetings". Government of Georgia.
  25. ^ "EU-Georgia relations". European External Action Service. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
  26. ^ "Prime Minister congratulates the Georgian people on EU's positive conclusion regarding visa liberalization action plan". 22 December 2015. Archived from the original on 3 January 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  27. ^ Khidasheli, Tinatin (3 December 2018). "Georgia's China Dream: CEFC in the Caucasus – China Digital Times (CDT)". Sinopsis. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  28. ^ "Georgia's PM resigns over move to arrest opposition leader". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 18 February 2021.[permanent dead link]
  29. ^ Khurshudyan, Isabelle. "Georgian opposition leader arrested, deepening the political crisis in the South Caucasus country". The Washington Post.[permanent dead link]
  30. ^ "Ex-Soviet republic Georgia's parliament appoints new premier". The Washington Post. Associated Press.[permanent dead link]
  31. ^ Georgia Formally Applies For EU Membership: PM
  32. ^ "Ultima oră! Moldova a semnat cererea de aderare la Uniunea Europeană: "Vrem să fim parte a lumii libere"". UNIMEDIA (in Romanian). 3 March 2022. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  33. ^ "Garibashvili: Not a Man of Compromise". 19 February 2021. Archived from the original on 9 June 2021. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  34. ^ "Garibashvili on LGBT Pride: "95% Against Propagandistic Parade"". 12 July 2021. Archived from the original on 12 July 2021. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  35. ^ "PM proposes to define "family" in Constitution". 28 March 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  36. ^ "PM-Designate Garibashvili Prioritizes "Order," State Intervention in Economy". 22 February 2021. Archived from the original on 7 June 2021. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  37. ^ "Asset Declaration". Government of Georgia. Archived from the original on December 25, 2015. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
  38. ^ "Third son born to Georgian PM's family". Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  39. ^ "Political Motives of General Tamaz Tamazashvili's Imprisonment Was Doubtlessly Proved". PirWeli Information Agency. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Georgia
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Georgia