Accessibility links

Breaking News

Georgian Prime Minister Resigns After Antigovernment Protests


Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili (file photo)

TBILISI -- Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced his resignation after a series of antigovernment protests shook the capital, Tbilisi.

Kvirikashvili made the announcement on June 13, citing "disagreements" with the leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party, tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, as a reason for his decision.

"I think this is the moment now when the leader of the party should be given an opportunity to form a new cabinet," he also said in his televised statement.

Kvirikashvili, 50, has been prime minister since December 2015.

He was nominated for the post by Georgia's parliamentary majority, dominated by tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream party.

Kvirikashvili's decision triggers the resignation of the whole cabinet.

Under the constitution, the ruling party will have to submit a new cabinet list to President Giorgi Margvelashvili within a week. Margvelashvili then will have a further seven days to submit the new cabinet to parliament for approval.

A wave of demonstrations started on May 31 to protest against what demonstrators said was a miscarriage of justice following the killing of two teenagers in December.

The protests stopped after June 6, but resumed on June 10 and ended on June 11 with police dismantling protesters' tents and detaining opposition politicians and their supporters.

The demonstrations followed a series of rallies held in May by hundreds of people who took to Tbilisi streets and erected tent camps to protest an antidrug raid by police on two popular nightclubs, angered by what critics called an excessive use of force against club-goers.

They also came after mass street rallies in neighboring Armenia helped force the resignation of the prime minister and led to protest leader Nikol Pashinian being voted in by parliament as the new premier.

With reporting by Reuters