Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Monday said the decision of the ruling Georgian Dream party to initiate an impeachment procedure against President Salome Zourabichvili over her alleged violation of the constitution through her departure on an official visit abroad without the Government’s authorisation was “completely justified”.
In his remarks over the matter, Garibashvili noted the country’s constitution established that “the foreign policy is carried out by the Government”.
Unfortunately, the President did not take into account the refusal [of her request for foreign visits] by the Government, and she demonstratively violated the constitution. The constitution explains that the foreign policy is carried out by the Government of Georgia - if the Government grants the President [this power], only in that case can she fulfil this power”, he said.
The PM also noted comments by Zourabichvili earlier this year that said the Government was failing to fulfil its obligations to meet the recommendations set by the European Commission for granting the country the European Union membership candidate status.
She also said the most disturbing thing - that Georgia did not deserve the [EU] candidate status last year. After that, of course, we do not need any more evidence for [her] credibility to be simply lost. We had no [other] motivation [for the impeachment move] - it would be unfair for me to delegate some powers to her”, he continued.
Garibashvili further lamented the alleged “demonstrative” violation of the constitution and said “at this time, we must lead by example”.
The Government Administration on Wednesday said the Government had rejected requests by Zourabichvili’s office for approval of her official visits to Germany, Ukraine, Switzerland, Poland, Belgium, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Israel.
However, the President on Thursday departed for a visit to Germany anyway, as her Administration said she was starting a series of meetings with European leaders to garner support for Georgia to be granted EU membership candidate status.