When did Christianity reach Georgia Russia



Georgia is striving for a change from a presidential republic to a parliamentary republic. In a constitutional amendment passed on February 6, 2004, the power of the president was initially further strengthened at the expense of parliament and the prime minister. A new constitution came into force after the 2013 presidential election and strengthens the rights of parliament and the government. The head of government is no longer proposed by the president, but by the strongest party in parliament. In addition, the president lost the right to issue instructions in domestic and foreign policy.

To the Head of state the former Minister of Education and Deputy Prime Minister Georgi Margwelaschwili (born 1969), who replaced the leader of the so-called "Rose Revolution" of autumn 2003, Mikhail Saakashvili (2004-2013), was elected on November 27, 2013. His representative was the new Speaker of Parliament, Irakli Kobakhidze. After the constitutional reform of 2017, direct elections for the presidency were held for the last time in October 2018. The new president remains head of state, but primarily fulfills representative functions. In future, a 300-member electoral body (type of federal assembly) will determine the head of state.

From the first round of Presidential elections on October 28, 2018 Salome Zurabishvili emerged as the winner with 38.6% of the vote - with around 3.4 million eligible voters and a turnout of 46.7%. The former foreign minister campaigned as an independent candidate, but received strong support from the ruling Georgian Dream party. The runner-up, former Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, from the opposition United National Movement (VNB) received 37.7 percent of the vote. David Bakradse - a former UNB politician - got 10.9% of the vote. On November 28, 2018 Salome Zurabishvili (born 1952 in Paris as the daughter of Georgian emigrants, French ambassador to Georgia and 2004/5 Georgian Foreign Minister) won the runoff election against Grigol Vashadze with 59.6% of the vote and a voter turnout of 56.2% and became the country's first female president when she took office on December 16, 2018. The term of office is 6 years. The officially independent candidate received massive support from Bidzina Ivanishvili (leader of the "Georgian Dream" movement, whose fortune is estimated at 4.6 billion US dollars), and the election campaign was flanked by a series of social promises on the part of the ruling GT party. In the future, the president will be determined by a 300-member electoral body (similar to the Federal Assembly), so Zurabishvili is the last directly elected president. In connection with the June protests in Tbilisi in 2019 and the massive police attacks, Irakli Kobakhidze resigned from his post as President of Parliament on June 21, 2019, and was succeeded by Archil Talakwadze (born 1983) on June 25.


Head of government was Nika Gilauri (born 1975) until June 2012, in July 2012 he was replaced by Vano Merabishvili (born 1968, expert on security issues / 2004-2012 Minister of the Interior). With the victory of the "Georgia's Dream" movement (54.85 percent - 83 seats), the entire government was reshaped in October 2012. Bidzina Ivanishvili (born 1956) became the new prime minister. In November 2013, he resigned his office, and on November 21, 2013, Parliament confirmed the former Interior Minister Irakli Garibashvili (born 1982) as the new head of government with a new cabinet. After numerous changes in appointments and resignations at ministerial level, he was replaced on December 30, 2015 by Giorgi Kwirikashvili (born 1967, previously Minister of Economic Affairs and Development and, for a short time, Foreign Minister). On June 13, 2018, he announced his resignation. Differences of opinion with the party chairman Ivanishvili, who had taken over the office of chairman of the party from Kvirikashvili on May 11, 2018 and thus returned to Georgian politics, were cited as a background. The ruling party "Georgian Dream" nominated the previous Finance Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze (born 1972) as his successor on June 14th. On September 2, he resigned from his post in connection with the protest demonstration in Tbilisi.

On June 20, 2018, the following candidates for the new cabinet were confirmed by Parliament (updated as of September 25, 2019, reviewed on December 31, 2019):

  • Minister of Corrections -Kakha Kakhishvili;
  • Minister of Culture and Monument Protection - Mikheil Giorgadze
  • Minister of Defense -Levan Izoria - on September 8th, 2019: Irakli Garibashvili
  • Minister of Corrections -Kakha Kakhishvili;
  • Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development -Giorgi Cherkezishvili - from April 18, 2019: Natela Turnava;
  • Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport - Mikheil Chkhenkeli
  • Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture - Levan Davitashvili;
  • Minister of Finance - Nikoloz Gagua - successor: Ivane Matchavariani;
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs -Davit Zalkaliani;
  • Minister of Internal Affairs -Giorgi Gakharia (from 8. Sept. 2019 Prime Minister) - Successor: Vakhtang Gomelauri
  • Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia -Socar Subari - New: Ekaterine Tikaradze;
  • Minister of Justice -Tea Tsulukiani;
  • Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs -Davit Sergeenko;
  • Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure -Maia Tskitishvili;
  • State Minister for Reconciliation and Civil Equality -Ketevan Tsikhelashvili

Detailed information on changes to the cabinet can be found on the government website.

On September 8, 2019, the office of Prime Minister was replaced by the not undisputed former Minister of the Interior and Deputy Prime Minister Giorgi Gacharia (born 1972).

Since 2013, the office of prime minister has been upgraded on the basis of a renewed constitution. It was given the powers of a federal chancellor, while the presidential office was given more representative status. Strengthening the prime minister vis-à-vis the president reduces his previous almost charismatic role, but also makes the prime minister more dependent on parliamentary majorities. 113 votes are required for the adoption of larger resolutions. With the election victory in 2016, the "Georgian Dream" won an absolute majority with 115 seats and would theoretically be able to rule on its own. The latest result of the presidential elections can, however, be seen as a barometer of sentiment, which indicates a renewed influx of former supporters of Saakashvili's party. He reappeared on the Georgian political stage with his "National Movement" at the June 2019 events.

legislative branch

The Georgian National Assembly is a unicameral parliament with 150 seats (75 list places and 75 direct seats). It is elected every four years and controls the government. It has the right to recall the government and high officials with a three-fifths majority. It can also take over from the president if he breaks the constitution. The parliament has resided in Kutaisi since October 21, 2012. New elections were scheduled for October 8, 2016. Up-to-date election reports by the NDI and the OSCE can be viewed on the relevant websites. 26 long-term and 350 short-term observers observed the elections. Another 150 parliamentary seats were up for grabs: 73 members of parliament are directly elected in individual constituencies, the remaining 77 are distributed according to the proportional share of the votes among the parties. There is a 5% hurdle.

According to the constitution, the President of Parliament is the highest-ranking official after the President and acts in the event of replacement, resignation or death.

For the elections at the October 1, 2012 a new electoral law was passed in December 2011. Of the 150 seats in parliament, 77 were allocated according to the proportional principle and 73 as direct mandates, a 5% hurdle excluded small parties. The party alliance "Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia" (B. Ivanishvili) won with 85 seats (56.67% of the votes cast), which is in alliance with the "Georgian Republican Party" (Davit Usupashvili), the "Liberal Democrats" (Irakli Alasania), the "National Forum" (Kakha Schartawa), the "Conservative Party" (Zwiad Dzidziguri) and "Industry protects Georgia" (Gogi Topatze). Saakashvilis United National Movement (VNB) won 65 seats (43.33% of the votes cast) and thus lost the parliamentary majority. (See the overview of the results on Wikipedia, the election report from “Open Society”) and an analysis by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. In October 2013 the VNB held 52 seats, 85 MPs belonged to the "GT", 13 declared themselves to be "independents".

Both Parliamentary elections at the October 8, 2016 (By-elections were necessary in 50 electoral districts; runoff elections took place on October 30th) the "Georgian Dream" was able to expand its position vis-à-vis the VNB with an increase of 28 seats (loss of 36 parliamentary seats). Previously, the constituencies had been redistributed to bring together roughly equal voters. The turnout was around 8% below that of 2012. When the official party list votes were announced on October 24, 2016, it was clear that only three parties had passed the 5% hurdle: the Georgian dream (KO) that United National Movement (ENM) and as a new oneAlliance of Patriots who acted as an ultra-conservative and nationalist movement is assessed. According to the Central Election Commission, these three parties were able to win 115 (Georgian Dream), 27 (VNB) and 6 (Alliance) seats each (via party and constituency lists). Irakli Kobakhidze, a lawyer and graduate of Düsseldorf University, became the new President of Parliament  (born 1978). Women are still underrepresented in parliament, they achieved 23 places.

Current developments including the work of the parliamentary commissions can be found on the official website of the parliament or the German embassy in Tbilisi. A critical assessment of the elections can be found on the website of the Böll Foundation Tbilisi and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. In the run-up to the parliamentary elections in October 2020, constitutional changes and changes in the electoral process played a major role. The opposition - led by the two most important opposition parties "United National Movement" and "European Georgia - Movement for Liberty" - complained, among other things, that the conversion of the electoral system from the previous mixture of proportional and majority voting to exclusive proportional representation will not take place until 2024 should and called for the transition to proportional representation in 2020. A corresponding motion was rejected in parliament on November 14, 2019. A compromise was negotiated on March 8, 2020: 120 places will be chosen via a proportional system and the "remaining" 30 via the majority principle at the same time it was determined that a party with less than 40 percent of the total votes should no longer be able to to obtain a sole parliamentary majority.


The first constitution of Georgia after gaining its second independence was adopted in August 1995 and enshrined the most important fundamental rights for democratic construction. It has been changed several times since then. In 2004 the power of the president was constitutionally strengthened. A new constitutional law was passed in November 2010 and came into force after the 2013 presidential election. This strengthens the rights of parliament and the government (especially the prime minister) vis-à-vis the president. The head of government is no longer proposed by the president, but by the strongest party in parliament. The aim is to change the Georgian political system towards parliamentary democracy. In addition, the President loses his right to issue instructions in domestic and foreign policy. This transformed the Georgian system of government into a semi-presidential democracy.

A constitutional court with new members was set up in 1996. Three judges each are proposed by the President, Parliament and the Supreme Court for ten years. The chairman is Georgij Papuaschwili. The Constitutional Court has been located in Batumi since 2007.


The Georgian legal system is strongly based on German law and is being developed and expanded with the support of German specialists. With the introduction of an independent constitutional court in Georgia for the first time, 1996 marked the beginning of a fundamental reform process in the judiciary. A year later the death penalty was abolished and in 1998 the independence of the courts from the executive branch was strengthened through the establishment of a judicial council. As a further measure in the fight against corruption, all judges in Georgia were dismissed in 1999; in future, only factual and professional qualifications should influence the appointment.

As a result of the "Rose Revolution", the President took over the chairmanship of the Judicial Council, resulting in a greater dependence of the judiciary on the executive, which in the following years became increasingly problematic for the principle of the separation of powers and urged further legal reforms. In 2012, 5 million euros were available from the German side for this purpose. Support in the implementation of administrative and judicial reforms continues to be a focus of German-Georgian cooperation.

The Georgian Supreme Court plays an important political role. It has constitutional status. Its members and the chairman of the court are elected by Parliament for ten years on the proposal of the President.