Irakli Kobakhidze

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Irakli Kobakhidze
ირაკლი კობახიძე
Davit Usupashvili
Succeeded by
Leader of the Parliamentary Majority
In office
11 December 2020 – 8 February 2024
Preceded byMamuka Mdinaradze
Succeeded byMamuka Mdinaradze
Member of the Parliament of Georgia
In office
18 November 2016 – 8 February 2024
Political Secretary of Georgian Dream
Assumed office
1 February 2024
Preceded byIrakli Garibashvili
Executive Secretary of Georgian Dream
In office
January 2015 – 11 January 2021
Succeeded byMamuka Mdinaradze
Personal details
Born (1978-09-25) 25 September 1978 (age 45)
University of Düsseldorf
Signature

Irakli Kobakhidze (Georgian: ირაკლი კობახიძე; born 25 September 1978) is a Georgian constitutional scholar and politician who has served as the 16th Prime Minister of Georgia since 2024.

He previously served as

Georgian Parliament from 2016 to 2024. He held the post of chairman of Georgian Dream party from 2021 to 2024. Prior to joining politics, he was a professor at the Tbilisi State University.[1]

From 2020 to 2022, Kobakhidze served as vice-president of

anti-American" by saying that the West is pushing Georgia into the Russo-Ukrainian War and "opening a second front" and other similar messages.[3][4][5][undue weight?
]

Early life and studies

Irakli Kobakhidze was born on 25 September 1978 in

University of Düsseldorf, Germany, where he was awarded a master's degree in Law and a PhD in 2006.[6][7][8]

Between 2000 and 2001 he was the regional coordinator of the public education project of the

Open Society-Georgia Foundation"' committee of experts of the human rights and rule of law programme and member of the Georgian delegation to the Council of Europe between 2011 and 2012.[6] Since 2014 he is associate professor at the Tbilisi State University.[6]

Political career

In 2015, Kobakhidze was appointed as Executive Secretary of Georgia's ruling party Georgian Dream.[6], alongside Secretary General Kakha Kaladze.[8] As deputy campaign manager for the 2016 parliamentary elections, and the campaign manager for the 2017 municipal elections, he played an important role in those remarkable electoral successes for the party.[7][9] In 2016, Kobakhidze was elected to the Georgian Parliament by party list under the "Georgian Dream" bloc, [7] and reelected in the 2020 parliamentary election.[10]

Chairman of Parliament (2016–2019)

Kobakhidze meeting with the Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman in 2018.

On 18 November 2016, he was appointed as Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia with 118 votes in favour and 3 against.[11][12]

Under Kobakhidze's leadership, the Parliament strengthened its international ties: the Parliamentary Assemblies of Georgia-Ukraine-Moldova

Polish parliament,[15] the Letonian Saeima,[16] the Uzbek Oliy Majlis[17] and the Serbian National Assembly.[18]

In 2017, he was in favour of the proposed Gender Quota Bill, which would mean a greater presence of women in Parliament.[19]

On his initiative, in April 2019 the plenary session room of the Parliament was given the name of the first democratically elected president of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia.[20]

Constitutional reform

Under his leadership, the Georgian Parliament implemented constitutional reforms.[21] Kobakhidze served as Chairman of the State Constitutional Commission that drafted the new Constitution of Georgia.[7] These reforms established a parliamentary system of government in Georgia. The same amendments transitioned Georgia's parliamentary elections to a fully proportional system, reduced the president's executive powers, abolished direct presidential elections,[22] and strengthened the role of Parliament and the political rights of the opposition.[23]

Resignation

Kobakhidze made the decision to resign from the chairmanship during the

2019 Georgian protests.[24] He continued to serve as a member of parliament.[2] He was succeded by Archil Talakvadze.[25]

Chairman of Georgian Dream

Kobakhidze (left) in celebration of Georgia's achievement of EU candidate status, 15 December 2023

On 11 January 2021, Irakli Kobakhidze was elected as a new chairman of the Georgian Dream party.[26]

During the

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Kobakhidze expressed support for Ukraine, condemned Russia's actions and criticized Secretary of the National Security Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov for saying that Georgia would "greatly help" Ukraine by "opening a second front" against Russia.[27] Kobakhidze criticized Ukrainian officials for pursuing their own interests at the expense of Georgia, saying that "opening a second front" would alleviate Ukraine's situation, but bring suffering and destruction to Georgia as Russia's army is considerably stronger and well equipped compared to Georgia's. Kobakhidze said that Georgia had the military means to "make the situation worse for Russia", but doing so would "come at the cost of destroying Georgia".[28][29] Kobakhidze later elaborated that there was a coordinated effort by "Global War Party" to drag Georgia into the war.[30]

In June 2022, the European Parliament passed several resolutions against the Georgian government and refused to grant Georgia a candidate status. Kobakhidze criticized these actions and said that they were influenced by the effort of this "Global War Party" to push Georgia into the war.[3][4][5][31][32]

Kobakhidze stated that Georgia would not deviate from its path towards EU membership and that it would continue the process of EU integration, while calling the US and EU to "distance themselves from calls for Georgia to engage in war".[33]

Prime Minister of Georgia (2024–present)

On 29 January 2024, the TV channel Imedi reported that Georgian Dream planned to nominate Kobakhidze as Prime Minister, information which was confirmed by deputy Archil Talakvadze shortly afterwards.[34][35] Then, Irakli Garibashvili announced his resignation as Prime Minister and accepted an offer to replace Kobakhidze as chairman of Georgian Dream ahead of parliamentary elections to be held later in the year.[36]

On 1 February 2024, the party nominated Kobakhidze to succeed him as prime minister,[37] and he was confirmed in the position in a parliamentary vote on 8 February with 82 MPs supporting him and 10 MPs voting against him.[38] At his accession, Kobakhidze said his government was focusing on ending the Russian occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and eliminating poverty.[39] That day, President Salome Zourabichvili appointed him by decree "to avoid obstacles in fighting the disaster and to duly issue necessary measures".[40] Kobakhidze only changed the Minister of Defense.[41]

His first official trip abroad is expected to be to Brussels between 20 and 21 February 2024.[42]

Criticism

Kobakhidze has been accused of "

anti-American" rhetoric because of his claims that the West is trying to push Georgia into the Russo-Ukrainian War and open a "second front" of war on the Georgian territory.[3][4][5] In February 2024, when the State Security Service of Georgia announced discovery of Ukrainian explosives on Georgian territory, Kobakhidze repeated his claims that Georgia is being dragged into war: "This once again confirms what, in principle, the high-ranking officials of the Ukrainian government openly said that they wanted and probably still want: a second front in our country".[43]

Personal life

Irakli Kobakhidze is married to Natalia Motsonelidze, with whom he has two children.[8]

Besides Georgian, Kobakhidze speaks English, German and Russian.[8]

Awards

Works

  • "Law of Political Unions" (2008)[7]
  • "Constitutional Law" (2019)[7]

References

  1. ^ "Georgian Dream stalls parliament's investigation of US-sanctioned judges". OC Media. 20 April 2023. Archived from the original on 20 April 2023. Retrieved 21 April 2023.
  2. ^ a b c "Georgian Dream – Irakli Kobakhidze". Archived from the original on 12 April 2020. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "The European Dream: Georgia's growing anti-European rhetoric undermines its pro-western aspirations". 10 March 2023. Archived from the original on 26 April 2023. Retrieved 26 April 2023.
  4. ^ a b c Kobakhidze's anti-Western rhetoric and the Nagorno-Karabakh clashes Archived 3 May 2023 at the Wayback Machine, OC Media
  5. ^ a b c "Russian Praise and Transatlantic Criticism Underline Growing Anti-Western Sentiment Among Georgia's Elite". Archived from the original on 3 May 2023. Retrieved 3 May 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "ირაკლი კობახიძე". Parliament of Georgia. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i Pertaia, Luca (30 January 2024). "ირაკლი კობახიძე: პროფესორი, მწერალი, "ენჯეოშნიკი", პოლიტიკოსი. პრემიერიც?". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 4 February 2024. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  8. ^ a b c d "პარლამენტის თავმჯდომარე, ევროსაბჭოს საპარლამენტო ასამბლეის ვიცე-პრეზიდენტი, პროფესორი, არაერთი სახელმძღვანელოს ავტორი – ირაკლი კობახიძის ბიოგრაფია". gmnews.ge. 1 February 2024. Archived from the original on 11 February 2024. Retrieved 10 February 2024.
  9. ^ "Irakli Kobakhidze: The Georgian Dream Achieved a Convincing Victory, We Concluded These Elections With an 85 Percent Victory". Archived from the original on 5 August 2020. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
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  15. ^ საქართველოს პარლამენტს, პოლონეთის სეიმსა და სენატს შორის სტრატეგიული თანამშრომლობის შეთანხმება გაფორმდა Archived 20 August 2023 at the Wayback Machine (in Georgian)
  16. ^ საქართველოს პარლამენტსა და ლატვიის სეიმს შორის მემორანდუმი გაფორმდა Archived 11 February 2024 at the Wayback Machine (in Georgian)
  17. ^ საქართველოს პარლამენტსა და უზბეკეთის რესპუბლიკის ოლიი მაჯლისს შორის საპარლამენტთაშორისო თანამშრომლობის მემორანდუმი გაფორმდა Archived 11 February 2024 at the Wayback Machine (in Georgian)
  18. ^ საქართველოსა და სერბეთის პარლამენტებს შორის ხელშეკრულება გაფორმდა Archived 20 August 2023 at the Wayback Machine (in Georgian)
  19. ^ Crosby, Alan (21 December 2017). "Georgia's Women Say Gender Quota Bill Better Late Than Never". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 17 September 2023. Retrieved 10 February 2024.
  20. ^ "პარლამენტის პლენარულ სხდომათა დარბაზს ზვიად გამსახურდიას სახელი მიენიჭა". Tabula. 16 April 2019. Archived from the original on 31 October 2023. Retrieved 10 February 2024.
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  35. ^ "არჩილ თალაკვაძე: ვადასტურებ, რომ სწორედ ირაკლი კობახიძის კანდიდატურა განიხილება პრემიერ-მინისტრის თანამდებობაზე". Imedi Media Holding (in Georgian). 29 January 2024. Archived from the original on 29 January 2024. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
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External links