New Georgian PM nominated

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has nominated his finance minister, Zurab Nogaideli, as prime minister to replace Zurab Zhvania who died in a gas accident last week.

    President Saakashvili has chosen his finance minister for the job

    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.


    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.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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