The decision to start this impeachment procedure was made after the President’s violation of the Constitution of Georgia gained a systemic character. We no longer consider Salome Zurabishvili worthy of the presidency, – the Chairman of Georgian Dream Irakli Kobakhidze stated in the Constitutional Court this week, where the impeachment of the President is being considered.
In response to the judge’s question, Kobakhidze explained the motivation behind Georgian Dream starting the impeachment procedure, seeing him claim that although the ruling team knows that it does not have the relevant resources in Parliament, the starting point for them is that “the President, as a rule, should resign.”
“Initiating the impeachment procedure is a political decision. In 2022, we also made a political statement that the President of Georgia had violated the Constitution of Georgia. She applied to the government in April 2022, if I’m not mistaken, to get approval for the visits [to the EU], she was refused, and yet still made the corresponding visits. We did not suggest impeachment then, due to the fact that at some point she changed this practice and did not repeat it for some time. She consulted with us and later consent was given for certain visits. However, the decision to submit for impeachment was made after the President’s violation of the Constitution of Georgia gained a systemic character. When you initiate impeachment, from our point of view, it means that we no longer consider Salome Zurabishvili worthy of the presidency,” Kobakhidze said.
“We said from the beginning that we do not expect 100 votes. We have a reasonable assumption that Ms. Salome Zurabishvili was violating the Georgian Constitution in the hope of gaining support from the opposition, but the ultimate goal and starting point of impeachment is that the President, as a rule, should resign. This will be our goal, and if the Constitutional Court presents a positive conclusion to the Parliament regarding the violation of the Constitution, all relevant deputies will support the impeachment of the President. This is our political intention,” he added.
The consideration of the impeachment submission of President Zurabishvili in the Constitutional Court of Georgia has been ongoing since October 3. The issue is being considered by the plenum of 9 judges of the Constitutional Court.
The Chairman of Georgian Dream Irakli Kobakhidze and other members of the ruling party, Anri Okhanashvili, Giorgi Kakhiani and Tengiz Sharmanashvili, have been present at the sessions as the authors of the submission.
Giorgi Tevdorashvili, the judge of the Constitutional Court, stated that the court will have a report on the impeachment of the President prepared by mid-October.
“Certainly, the case is an important one, and the court will prepare a report within the one-month period stipulated by the Constitution,” Tevdorashvili told journalists. “Naturally, one month was counted from the filing of the lawsuit in the court, and by the middle of October, by October 14-15, the conclusion should be ready.”
The issue of impeachment of the President was decided at the meeting of the political council of the Georgian Dream party on September 1. The Constitutional Court has a one-month deadline to prepare its opinion. In case of a positive decision by the court, 100 deputies’ votes are needed to dismiss the President, which the majority of Georgian Dream does not have.
Members, MPs and supporters of the ‘For Georgia’ party on Tuesday held a rally in front of the Constitutional Court of Georgia in Batumi, where Georgian Dream was holding the impeachment procedure against President Salome Zurabishvili.
The protesters claimed that it is a deliberate action against the European future of Georgia, and that it, For Georgia, declares its full support for the President’s institution and the European future of the country.
“It is a historical process. For the first time in the history of Georgia, we have “the Parliament of Georgia against the European future of Georgia!” said party member Berdia Sichinava.
The President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, thanked her representatives in the Constitutional Court, writing that they “withstood all kinds of psychological, moral pressure and insults during the unprecedented hearing.”
“I thank my representatives who, during the unprecedented hearing, withstood all kinds of psychological, moral pressure and insults, both against me and against them, and in the face of absurd accusations and non-existent evidence, they defended the President’s institution with dignity,” Zurabishvili wrote on her Facebook page.
The President has not been in attendance at the sessions. Instead, lawyers Tamar Chugoshvili and Maia Kopaleishvili are defending her interests in court.