Georgia's president threatens to be dismissed over Europe trip

Georgia's president threatens to be dismissed over Europe trip

Impeachment proceedings possible Georgia’s pro-European President under pressure

Status: 01.09.2023 7:48 p.m

The ruling party has threatened Georgian President Zurabishvili with impeachment proceedings. The reason given was that she did not coordinate with the government before her trip to Berlin and Brussels.

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili is threatened with dismissal because of her current trip to Europe. The leader of the ruling party, the Georgian Dream, Irakli Kobachidze, announced in Tbilisi that he would initiate impeachment proceedings in parliament.

According to media reports, Kobachidze justified the step by saying that the President had started the trip without the constitutionally required coordination with the government.

Opposition imposes conditions

It is the first time that a ruling party has initiated impeachment proceedings against the head of state. Two-thirds of parliamentarians would have to support the proposal for it to succeed. The Georgian Dream party has 90 seats in parliament. For the necessary majority, ten MPs from the opposition would have to support the proposal. That is considered unlikely. This was also admitted by Kobachidze.

The opposition, in turn, made conditions for the president: If they pardon the imprisoned and apparently seriously ill former president Mikhail Saakashvili, the impeachment will be rejected.

Zurabishvili in Brussels

In order to promote her country’s accession to the EU, Zurabischwili, whose office primarily has representative functions, traveled to Berlin and Brussels this week, among other places. In the afternoon, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, spoke about the European perspective for your country in the Caucasus. Yesterday she met Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin.

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The vague hope of joining the EU

The President hopes that Georgia will become a candidate for EU membership. The country has been trying to join the European Union for years. However, the current government of Prime Minister Irakli Gharibaschwili has been increasingly turning to Russia since last year. The population, who hopes for a future in the EU, is worried about the country drifting towards authoritarianism.

Zurabishvili, born in France, was Georgia’s foreign minister and was elected president in 2018. Her term of office runs until December 2024.

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