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Georgia’s parliament approves new prime minister

November 20, 2013

KUTAISI, Georgia (AP) — The parliament of Georgia has approved a new prime minister — 31-year-old who has headed the country’s police force as interior minister for the past year.

Irakli Gharibashvili was the choice of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, the outgoing prime minister who is expected to retain significant influence even without a formal title.

Ivanishvili’s choice for president, former university rector Giorgi Margvelashvili, was inaugurated Sunday after easily winning election last month.

The prime minister now has broader powers than the president in Georgia, a former Soviet republic aligned with the United States and Europe.

Parliament, which is dominated by Ivanishvili’s coalition, confirmed Gharibashvili on Wednesday evening in a vote of 93-19.

The confirmation will be sent to the president for approval within two days.

Update hourly