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Impeachment of Georgian president fails to garner enough votes in parliament

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 18, 2023 6:17 PM 2 min read
Georgia's President Salome Zourabichvili gives a statement during a mini session on May 31, 2023 in Brussels, Belgium. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
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A measure to impeach Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili on Oct. 18 failed to receive enough votes in parliament to pass, allowing her to remain in office.

The impeachment received 86 votes in favor and one against, less than the 100 out of the 150-member assembly required to approve impeachment.

Georgia's Constitutional Court on Oct. 16 ruled that Zourabichvili had violated the Constitution by her European trip and authorized the impeachment procedure against her.

The motion was proposed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, which criticized the pro-EU president for her visits to Berlin and Brussels as she sought support for Tbilisi's EU membership bid.

The governing party, which has been accused of pulling Georgia back into Russia's orbit, said that Zourabichvili's visit was against the will of the government and that the president had "flagrantly violated" the constitution.

In a speech during the impeachment proceedings, Zourabichvili criticized Georgian Dream, saying that the party is "pushing the country towards isolation."

Irakli Khobakidze, the Georgian Dream chairman and one of Zourabichvili's primary political opponents, said that regardless of the result of the impeachment proceedings, she would resign if "she had any dignity."

In comments reported by RF/ERL's Georgian service, Khobakidze leveled a number of other accusations at Zourabichvili, including that she "was working against the vital interests of the country."

The position of Georgian President is largely a ceremonial one, as the majority of executive power lies with the prime minister, a seat that is currently held by Irakli Garibashvili from the Georgian Dream party.

Garibashvili has made a number of controversial statements, such as partially blaming Ukraine for Russia's invasion.

Kutelia, Sikharulidze: Ending Putin’s wars – don’t forget Georgia
Aside from the capital city of Tbilisi, where 40 miles away Russian occupying troops are stationed in Georgia’s South Ossetia region, the danger of unjust peace is also felt in Batumi, the country’s tourist hotspot on the Black Sea coast. Over the horizon lies Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea.
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