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Georgian Prime Minister Resigns, Says He Has 'Fulfilled Mission'


Mamuka Bakhtadze said he had fulfilled his mandate.

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze has announced his resignation after little more than a year in the position, saying he had fulfilled the mandate he was given.

"The purpose and main mandate of my nomination for the post of prime minister of Georgia in 2018 was to create and implement a strategic development framework for the country," Bakhtadze wrote in a Facebook post on September 2.

"A strategic development framework has been created, implemented, and therefore I decided to resign because I believe I have fulfilled my mission at this point," he added.

The ruling Georgian Dream party is expected to nominate Bakhtadze's successor on September 3, amid speculation that it could be Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia.

Bakhtadze, a 37-year-old former business executive and finance minister, was approved as prime minister by lawmakers in June 2018 on a pledge to enact liberal reforms and press the South Caucasus country further down the path to European Union and NATO membership that he said at the time was "a crucial task of Georgia's foreign policy and is vital for the country's security and stable development."

The former Soviet republic has attempted to build ties with the West, a move that has angered Moscow, with which Tbilisi lost a brief but bloody war in 2008 over breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Bakhtadze, who once served as the CEO of the Georgian Railways state enterprise and the director-general of the Georgian International Energy Corp, has promised "fundamental and innovative" reforms, to create a new economic model to have an impact on "every Georgian citizen."

"Despite the key strategic development framework and tangible progress, I feel and see that there are a number of issues where we can get better results," Bakhtadze said in his September 2 Facebook post.

He also called on Georgian Dream, founded by billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, to hold proportional elections in 2020 "with zero barriers," to allow all Georgians to be heard and allow the opportunity for "new faces" in the country's politics.

"Any move that fosters polarization in the country and establishes a negative agenda undermines Georgian statehood, impedes its development and is only in the interests of Georgia's enemies," he wrote.