Georgia Gets New Premier

TBILISI, Georgia — Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili named the fifth prime minister of his five-year rule on Friday after Grigol Mgaloblishvili resigned, citing ill health after just three months in the job.

Saakashvili named 33-year-old Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Nika Gilauri to the post, which Mgaloblishvili had held since Nov 1.

"We carried out a mechanical reshuffle," Saakashvili told a televised meeting of the Cabinet, appointing Gilauri's 30-year-old deputy Kakha Baindurashvili as finance minister.

The shuffle marks the latest government upheaval in a country reeling from war with Russia in August, when Moscow's crushing counterstrike repelled a Georgian assault on South Ossetia.

"We should be working like a military headquarters," Saakashvili said. "We should be working day and night to create new jobs and to save our economy."

The changes need approval by parliament, where Saakashvili's United National Movement holds a strong majority. Mgaloblishvili, a 35-year-old career diplomat, blamed his poor health for his resignation. He has been receiving treatment in Germany for a kidney condition.

Kakha Kukava, a leader of the opposition Conservative Party, complained about Saakashvili's administrative style.

"We have our fifth prime minister of the last five years — such things rarely happen even in Latin America," Kukava said. "Georgia's main problem is not the prime minister or the government, it's the president."