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The president risks isolation due to a Western visit

Published on 2023-10-16 14.07

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili.  Archive photo.

Georgia’s Constitutional Court ruled that Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili violated the constitution when she visited the European Union without her government’s approval.

Therefore, it will be presented before the impeachment court.

Salome Zurabishvili had applied to travel to a number of European Union countries on official visits earlier this year, but the government officially rejected him. However, the President traveled to Germany, France and Belgium with the clear aim of lobbying for Georgia’s candidacy for EU membership.

Zurabishvili became president of Georgia with the ruling party, Blessing of the Georgian Dream, in 2018, but since then the divide between president and government has widened, not least because of the view of Russia’s and the European Union’s ambitions. She also used a rare veto when the government tried to pass controversial surveillance legislation earlier this year.

In September, 80 members of parliament belonging to the ruling party initiated formal impeachment proceedings by going to the Constitutional Court, which thus found that Zurabishvili had clearly violated the constitution by conducting official inspections on his own initiative.

If the president is impeached, 100 of the 150 members of parliament will have to vote to remove her. The Georgian Dreams Party and the People Power Collaboration Party jointly won 84 seats – and do not appear to be receiving any interest from the opposition parties.

Instead, there are accusations that the government has politicized the Constitutional Court, suggesting that President Zurabishvili would not have been questioned if she had made an unannounced trip to Moscow instead.

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