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Georgian tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili announced key nominations for a new cabinet on Monday.
Leader of the Georgia Dream coalition Bidzina Ivanishvili announced nominations for his new cabinet on Monday, a week after he beat President Mikheil Saakashvili and won Georgia's parliamentary elections.
"Besides the fact that we have peacefully changed the government, now we should do something even bigger, which is to become truly the people's government and truly an honest government," Ivanishvili told reporters.
According to Reuters, "Western governments are watching whether Ivanishvili will push ahead with democratic advances made under Saakashvili and how he will juggle relations with Russia and the United States."
Irakli Alasania, a former UN ambassador, was nominated as defense minister and deputy prime minister. Democracy & Freedom Watch said Alasania planned to bolster Georgia's defenses.
“Qualitative reforms will be conducted,” he said, “It is important for us to continue country’s integration into Europe, Euro-Atlantic structures, for the country’s ability for defense.”
Other notable nominations included Maia Panjikidze, foreign minister; Irakli Gharibashvili, interior minister; and Tea Tsulukiani, justice minister.
The Wall Street Journal wrote of the new cabinet, "Bidzina Ivanishvili's choices reinforce his pledge to maintain the former Soviet republic's close ties with the United States and to work toward closer integration with the European Union."
A BBC reporter noted, "The government is a mix of liberals and radical nationalists, united by their dislike of President Mikheil Saakashvili."
More from GlobalPost: Defeat may mean victory for Georgian president
After his defeat last week by by 55.1 percent to 40.1 percent vote, Saakashvili, now 44, said:
“You know well that the views of this coalition were, and still are, fundamentally unacceptable for me. There are very deep differences between us, and we believe that their views are extremely wrong. But democracy works in this way — the Georgian people make decisions by majority. That’s what we, of course, respect very much.”
Saakashvili will remain in office for one more year.