Georgia's Constitutional Court has authorised the impeachment of pro-Western president Salomé Zourabichvili after the governing Dream party said she held meetings in the EU without the government's approval.
Georgia’s Constitutional Court has authorised the opening of impeachment proceedings against the country’s president Salomé Zourabichvili, who’s been in office since December 2018.
The initial request to impeach Zourabichvili came from the governing Dream party, which has accused the Georgian president of violating the constitution over her visits to the EU.
Zourabichvili held meetings in Berlin and Brussels apparently against the will of the government, as reported by the local news agency Interpress about a month ago, when the Dream party first said it wanted to impeach the president.
The Georgian president met with her German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin and with European Council president Charles Michel in Brussels in late August to rally support for Georgia’s campaign to be given EU candidate status.
But Dream party leader Irakli Kobakhidze reportedly said that Zourabichvili held these meetings in violation of the constitution, saying the government had sent a letter denying permissions for the two EU visits.
On Monday, the Georgian court agreed with Kobakhidze.
“On August 31, September 1 and 6, 2023, during working visits abroad, Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili exercised representative power in the field of foreign policy without the agreement of the government, thus violating the Constitution,” declared the President of the Constitutional Court, Merab Tourava.
The impeachment request shows the division at the heart of Georgia’s government. Since being elected as a member of the Dream party, Zourabichvili has since left the group, accusing it of being pro-Russian and saying it’s not committed enough to the cause of joining the EU.