Giorgi Baramidze

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Giorgi Baramidze
გიორგი ბარამიძე
Giorgi baramidze.jpg
State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration of Georgia
In office
27 December 2004 – 24 August 2012
President Mikheil Saakashvili
Preceded by Tamar Beruchashvili
Succeeded by Tornike Gordadze
Minister of Internal Affairs
In office
November 2003 – December 2004
Minister of Defense
In office
June 2004 – December 2004
Preceded by Gela Bezhuashvili
Succeeded by Irakli Okruashvili[1]
Personal details
Born (1968-01-05) January 5, 1968 (age 46)
Tbilisi, Georgia
Religion Georgian Orthodox
Military service
Years of service 1992–1993
Battles/wars War in Abkhazia

Giorgi Baramidze (Georgian: გიორგი ბარამიძე, born January 5, 1968) is a Georgian politician who served as Vice-Prime Minister of Georgia and State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration from 2004 to 2012. On October 21, 2012, he was elected as a vice-speaker of the Parliament of Georgia.

Early life[edit]

Baramidze was born on January 5, 1968 in Tbilisi, Georgia. He graduated from the Department of Chemical Technologies of the Georgian Technical University in 1992. While at the university, he was a co-founder and one of leaders of the student movement. In 1990, he joined forces with other activists establishing and leading Green Party of Georgia. Following graduation from the university in 1992, he worked as the head of a department at the Committee of Human Rights and National Minorities. In 1995, he graduated from George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies and Defense Economics in Garmisch, Germany.[2]

After start of the military operations in Abkhazia in 1992, he became the head of Green Party Humanitarian Aid Office where he oversaw provision of humanitarian supplies, evacuation of peaceful population from the occupied territories and liberation of Georgian hostages. He's credited with freeing of 200 Georgian prisoners and facilitating rescue of 3,000 Georgian civilians who fled the conflict zone.[3] He later participated in combat operations in Labra village of Ochamchire district and around Sukhumi.[2]

Political career[edit]

Member of Parliament[edit]

In 1992, Baramidze was elected to the Parliament of Georgia and served as the Secretary for Commission of Human Rights and National Minorities and as member of Parliamentary Defense and Security Commission. He was also elected a member of the State Coordination Commission of Georgia's participation in NATO Partnership for Peace Program (PFP). In 1995, he was one of co-founders of Eduard Shevardnadze's Union of Citizens of Georgia Party and was elected its deputy chairman, acting as Secretary General of the party from 1995 through 1996.

Baramidze along Mikheil Saakashvili during the Rose Revolution

In the 1995 parliamentary elections, he was elected from Didube district of Tbilisi. In 1996, he was elected Chairman of Investigation Commission of Parliamentary Anti-Corruption Committee. As a result of anti-corruption activities, he masterminded to have the following several ministers resign, D. Gulua (Minister of Agriculture), P. Injia (Minister of Communications and Postage), D. Zubitashvili (Minister of Energy), D. Iakobidze (Minister of Finance) and D. Eliashvili (Chairman of Department of Gas of Georgia) among them.

In 1996, Baramidze was elected chairman of the parliamentary faction of Union of Citizens of Georgia. A year later, he started joint Georgian government-UNDP program on Corruption Investigation Center becoming its first director.

From 1998 through 1999, Baramidze worked as an Associate Researcher at Institute for the Study of Diplomacy of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., conducting research on U.S. government policy, structures and functions as well as on political, military and defense issues in Caucasus. In 1999, he worked with Senator Carl Levin in the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services.

Upon his return to Georgia in 1999, he was re-elected to the parliament from Didube district and elected Chairman of Defence and Security Committee in 2000 and Chairman of Faction of the United Democrats of Parliament of Georgia in 2002, subsequently playing an active role in the Rose Revolution in November 2003. In 2003 parliamentary elections, Baramidze was re-elected from the same district of Tbilisi.

Ministerial positions[edit]

Baramidze (left) with U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in the Pentagon

With the new government in power in late 2003, he was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia.

He was seen as a member of the government faction grouped around the then Prime Minister (and Rose Revolution leader) Zurab Zhvania[4] that were seen to be in opposition to the President Mikheil Saakashvili. As such he publicly cast doubt upon the official explanation for Zhvania's death due to carbon monoxide poisoning and instead appeared to endorse the possibility of foul play stating "none of the versions [of explanation for his death] should be ruled out."[5]

In June 2004, he was appointed Minister of Defense replacing Gela Bezhuashvili. In December 2004, some sixty servicemen went AWOL and rallied outside the Human Rights Ombudsman’s Office to demand better social conditions in the army. The former military Ombudsman, Irakli Sesiashvili said that while Baramidze was in charge "these soldiers have not taken a bath for two months; there is not enough food. Over the last two months, they have eaten meat only a few times. The soldiers do not even have cold water regularly. Heating equipment has been installed, but there is no fuel… all of these Ministers care more about repairing their offices and purchasing new jeeps."[6]

In December 2004, he was moved to the post of Vice Premier and State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration. [7]

Return to the Parliament[edit]

In August 2012, Baramdize resigned from his government position in order to run as the United National Movement's majoritarian candidate in Batumi in the October 2012 parliamentary election.[8] The election saw the defeat of the UNM by the Georgian Dream coalition and Baramidze lost the Batumi race, but he obtained a seat in the new parliament through a party list. On October 21, 2012, he was elected as one of the vice-speakers of the Parliament of Georgia, representing the parliamentary minority.[9]

In June 2013, the UNM named Baramidze as one of the four candidates for the party's presidential primaries.[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

Baramidze speaks Georgian, English, Russian and French. He has a wife, Eka Japaridze, and daughter, Ana.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Global Security. Georgia – Ministry of Defense". Retrieved February 16, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "NATO Parliamentary Assembly. ESC – Giorgi Baramidze". Retrieved February 16, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Georgia-NATO. Biography". Retrieved February 16, 2011. 
  4. ^ http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=8736 Civil.ge news report January 6, 2005
  5. ^ http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=30211 Jamestown Foundation report April 5, 2005
  6. ^ http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=8640 Civil.ge report December 22, 2004
  7. ^ http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=8736 Civil.ge report January 6, 2005
  8. ^ New State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration Appointed. Civil Georgia. August 24, 2012.
  9. ^ New Parliament Vice Speakers Elected. Civil Georgia. October 21, 2012.
  10. ^ "UNM names candidates for Presidential primaries". Tabula. June 29, 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Saakashvili’s party names four presidential candidates". Democracy & Freedom Watch. June 29, 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 

See also[edit]