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PM Says Impeachment Hearing Result of Zurabishvili’s “Provocation”

PM Irakli Garibashvili said President Salome Zurabishvili staged a “provocation” by violating the law intentionally to force the government to retaliate by launching the impeachment procedures. PM Garibashvili was commenting on the ongoing deliberations at the Constitutional Court, where the ruling party is arguing President Salome Zurabishvili committed an impeachable offense by traveling to Europe without the government’s prior permission.

PM Garibashvili said that had the President exhibited true statesmanship, she would have supported the government, when instead, “we have seen the President that stooped to the level of the opposition” during her address to the Parliament this year, and “repeated the messages, the narrative pushed by the opposition.”

PM said, “Madam President forced us to take this step [of launching impeachment procedure – ed.], which is, obviously, not pleasant, given that our country faces so many challenges.” But, he argued, the “demonstrative, intentional violation of the Constitution” constituted “a calculated provocation.”

Speaking from the Spanish town of Granada, where he is attending the meeting of the European Political Community, Garibashvili says he had to explain the ongoing developments to his European counterparts who “obviously understand the purely legal side of the issue but tell us that this does not look good, the optics are not right.” PM Garibashvili said he explained to the European leaders that impeachment is “a formal, legal, but very important process to demonstrate the [functioning] rule of law, the supremacy of the Constitution, and that in this state, nobody stands above the law.”

PM further argued that “I was letting her go [on visits] everywhere” last year when the government was confident of her alignment with the official position, but “unfortunately, she [the President] changed the political orientation, whole her message box and thus lost all confidence.”

“We obviously could not give a mandate to a representative of the opposition to represent our position in Europe” – this was the explanation that he gave the colleagues, PM Garibashvili said.

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

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