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Update: President Consults Opposition Parties on EU Integration Process

President Salome Zurabishvili has been holding meetings with opposition figures at the Orbeliani Palace on September 11. So far she has met with Lelo representative Salome Samadashvili, opposition MP Khatia Dekanoidze (Euro-optimists parliamentary group) and representatives of Giorgi Gakharia’s ‘For Georgia’ party. According to opposition members who attended the meeting, the only issue discussed during the meetings was Georgia’s EU integration process and what steps should be taken to secure Georgia’s candidate status. After the meetings, the politicians did not give details, but revealed that President Zurabishvili had expressed her concern about the GD’s policies.

Khatia Dekanoidze, Euro-optimists: “We haven’t talked about a concrete plan, I told her I don’t support her impeachment and that in my opinion the impeachment is a part of anti-western politics and propaganda that GD is pursing. The President said that she will continue to actively campaign for Georgia’s EU integration.”

Ana Buchukuri, political party “For Georgia”: “The meeting initiative came from the President. I won’t talk about details, but we discussed how we can help our country, our European integration against the background of what GD is doing, because you know that EU candidate status is critically important for us, so that country does not find itself isolated, because that would mean staying face to face with Russia.”

Salome Samadashvili, Lelo: “The President is very concerned that on the one hand we have a historic chance and EU says their door is open.. and on the other hand we witness an open sabotage by the government. The President is discussing with various actors what can be done by society, by the people so that we don’t lose this historical chance, and so that the country receives it in spite of the GD’s sabotage.”

On September 12 the President also met with the leader of the “Citizens” party, Aleko Elisashvili.

Aleko Elisashvili, “Citizens”: “The President does not exclude this [impeachment] and thinks that it is quite realistic… the President is sure that GD is working very actively to gather 100 votes, and she realizes that this is a possibility… She has a good vision of what she can do after that.”

The President is set to continue consultations with representatives of the Georgian political spectrum.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Georgian Dream MPs have today filed an electronic complaint with the Constitutional Court. Whether or not Salome Zurabishvili has violated the Constitution is now up to the Constitutional Court, which has one month to decide. If six of the nine judges confirm that she has broken the law, parliament will vote on impeachment.

Furthermore, on September 13 the President held a meeting with the former Head of the United National Movement (UNM) party, Nika Melia.

Nika Melia, UNM: “I have the impression that Mrs. Zurabishvili doesn’t think much about who will support her impeachment and who won’t. Who will be bribed and who will not… “Georgian Dream” believes that these meetings are held so that Zurabishvili’s impeachment will not happen because of the luck of sufficient amount of votes, but we spent the least amount of time talking about this issue... Personally, I think that if this [impeachment] happens, it will have the opposite result and Bidzina Ivanishvili’s government will not be able to convince the West to leave the Georgian people alone”.

Note: This news article was updated at 2:40 p.m., on September 13 to include Melia’s comment.

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

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