Zhvania was found dead last week, apparently asphyxiated by gas from a faulty heater.

The dominance of pro-Saakashvili deputies in parliament means Nogaideli's nomination is virtually assured of approval.

Once he names his government, parliament has a week to vote on the nomination.

The 40-year-old Nogaideli has been the finance minister for a year, shortly after the previous government was ousted in a bloodless popular uprising.

Nogaideli held the same job for 18 months until late 2001 until he fell out with then-President Eduard Shevardnadze.

Trackrecord

Nogaideli was close to Zhvania and has earned a reputation of keeping a very tight grip on state finances.

Zurab Zhvania died in a gas
accident last week

"As Nogaideli was a very principled and tough finance minister, I think he would be a good economic manager in the government. But I am afraid that he is not flexible enough to be a good political manager," said political analyst Gocha Tskitishvili.

Fluent in Russian and English, Nogaideli had entered Georgia's parliament in 1992 as a member of the ruling party of Shevardnadze.

After his falling out with Shevardnadze, he worked on the board of a local commercial bank and was also a consultant on legal issues.