Posted: 10 months ago

Georgian Dream Party Moves to Impeach President Over Unauthorized Foreign Visits

Today, the political council of the Georgian Dream party resolved to initiate impeachment proceedings against Salome Zurabishvili, the President of Georgia.

The party is also filing a lawsuit against the President in the Constitutional Court for embarking on international visits without securing government approval. Irakli Kobakhidze, the chairman of Georgian Dream, emphasized that the President must obtain governmental consent for official foreign visits as mandated by the Constitution. This announcement follows President Zurabishvili's recent meeting with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and her forthcoming appointment with Charles Michel, President of the European Council.

During today's political council meeting, the gross infringement of the Georgian Constitution by President Zurabishvili was deliberated alongside other matters. It is common knowledge that the President conducted a series of unauthorized international visits, flagrantly bypassing governmental approval.

According to Georgian law, it is the government that holds the exclusive right to execute both domestic and foreign policy. Article 52, Clause 1, Sub-Clause "A" of the Constitution of Georgia clearly stipulates that the President can act as a representative in foreign relations only upon receiving the government's endorsement. The constitutional text allows for no ambiguity in its interpretation.

Publicly, President Zurabishvili has demonstrated a stance at odds with the Georgian government, particularly concerning Georgia's eligibility for EU membership candidacy. The President has openly asserted that Georgia neither deserved candidate status last year nor meets the criteria currently, accusing the Georgian Parliament and Government of merely paying lip service to EU requirements.

Such discordance makes any European engagement by President Zurabishvili not only legally questionable but also politically detrimental, especially given Georgia's ongoing efforts to secure EU candidate status.

President Zurabishvili appears to be engaged in a precarious balancing act. While recognizing that Georgia's chances for EU candidacy have improved, she seems keen on capitalizing on this potential positive development for her own political gain. Simultaneously, she aims to undermine Georgia’s candidacy efforts.

Though the impeachment process requires the backing of 100 parliamentarians and is unlikely to be successful without support from the radical opposition, the Georgian Dream party has nonetheless decided to proceed. This move underlines the party's unwavering commitment to upholding the Constitution and rule of law. It also exposes the alignment of interests between President Zurabishvili and the radical opposition, both of whom seem to act counter to Georgia's national interests, including its EU aspirations.

In the coming days, the party will collect the requisite signatures from members of the parliamentary majority and submit its constitutional application to the Constitutional Court of Georgia.