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Georgian Govt Sues President Over Ambassadorial Appointments

The Georgian Dream Government announced today it had filed a lawsuit in the Constitutional Court regarding the separation of powers with President Salome Zurabishvili over the ambassadorial (non)appointments.

“The Government of Georgia considers that the rejection of the nominations by the President of Georgia for the appointment and dismissal of ambassadors does not constitute its constitutional authority,” the announcement alleged.

The statement said it is the exclusive prerogative of the Government to make decisions on which ambassador or head of diplomatic mission will most appropriately serve the interests of the country’s effective foreign policy.

Prior to the move, in mid-April, the GD-led Parliament paved the way for the competence dispute with amendments to the Law on Constitutional Court, introducing a provision that would allow any state body to file a competence claim against another at the Court over its “action or inaction.” The previous reading primarily permitted a dispute over the compliance of normative acts issued by the defendant.

The Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association, a key local watchdog, then slammed the introduction of the amendments as an “attempt at political revenge” against the President.

The GD Government unveiled its intent to file the lawsuit in mid-March, claiming the President pursued foreign policy by side-stepping the executive branch. The governing party claimed the President had violated the Constitution on several occasions, including by unauthorized visits to Paris and Brussels, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But subsequently, Parliament Speaker, GD’s Shalva Papuashvili clarified the Government would only contest President Zurabishvili’s alleged refusal to appoint the diplomats.

Recently President Zurabishvili reiterated her Administration’s previous denial of the claims, saying that “100% of [the appointment requests] were satisfied.”

But “it would be very good” if the Constitutional Court separates some competencies of the President and the Government and makes clarifications, she added.

As things stand, five justices in the nine-member Constitutional Court are observed to have a track record of voting for the rulings favorable to the ruling party. MORE

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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