Ruling party falls short of votes for Georgian President’s impeachment in Parliament

The Parliament of Georgia held a session on the President’s impeachment on Wednesday. Photo: Parliament press office, 18 Oct 2023 - 17:15, Tbilisi,Georgia

The ruling Georgian Dream party on Wednesday fell short of votes for President Salome Zourabichvili’s impeachment in the Parliament after 86 MPs voted for her dismissal instead of the mandatory 100.

The anticipated result came as the 150-member legislative body voted on the impeachment, however United National Movement - the largest opposition group in the Parliament - and Strategy Agmashenebeli boycotted the session. MPs from the ruling party as well as European Socialists, Girchi and Citizens voted in the hearing.

Zourabichvili herself was attending the session that came following the Constitutional Court’s ruling on Monday that backed her impeachment vote for violating the country’s Constitution through recent visits to Europe without the Government's authorisation.  

In his comments following the Court’s ruling earlier this week, Irakli Kobakhidze, the head of GD, admitted his party “practically had no chances” of gathering enough votes to dismiss the President, but added the vote was being held as a matter of principle.

No matter how the impeachment procedure ends, we have already achieved the set goal - Zourabichvili’s violation of the Constitution was not left without a response, which will have a long-term preventive effect on the proper functioning of the Government system”, Kobakhidze said on Monday. 

In his speech in the Parliament before the vote, Zourabichvili claimed she had violated “neither the essence nor the spirit of the Constitution”, and said the MPs who voted for her impeachment would go “against the country’s European future”.