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The Daily Beat: 5 October

Following the three-day hearings, the Constitutional Court concluded its review of the alleged violation of the Constitution by President Salome Zurabishvili. According to the Constitution, the court must provide the parliament with its legal conclusion on whether the President violated the Constitution by October 14. The parliament can proceed with the impeachment procedure upon receiving the constitutional court’s conclusion. The case is precedent-setting as it is the first time the Constitutional Court of Georgia considers an impeachment case.

In the meantime, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili accused the President of a “demonstrative, intentional violation of the Constitution” and “a calculated provocation.” Commenting on the ongoing deliberations at the Constitutional Court,  PM Irakli Garibashvili claimed that President Salome Zurabishvili staged a “provocation” by violating the law intentionally to force the government to retaliate by launching the impeachment procedures. “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,” said PM Garibashvili.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili is attending the 3rd European Political Community (EPC) summit in Granada, Spain. Speaking to journalists on the summit’s margins, PM Garibashvili said he was optimistic about Georgia’s prospects for the EU candidacy and urged the EU against “treating Georgia unfairly.” “I think that common sense, rationality, foresight, and strategic thinking will prevail in the European Union, and [that] Europe will not repeat last year’s mistake when it treated Georgia unfairly,” – stressed PM Garibashvili.  The leaders of European countries and high-ranking EU representatives also attended the summit.

Following his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Sochi on October 4, the de facto leader of occupied Abkhazia, Aslan Bzhania, told the Russian daily Izvestia about the plans to open a permanent Russian naval base in Ochamchire, a seaside town on the Black Sea coastline around 50 km drive from Zugdidi. Bzhania also expressed interest in joining Russia’s Union State with Belarus. “We have signed an agreement, and, soon, there will be a permanent base for the Russian Navy in the Ochamchira region,” he said, adding that “security comes first,” without disclosing further details about the base.

The Parliament endorsed the controversial amendment to the Law on Assemblies and Manifestations (known as the “tents law”) that the ruling party rushed through in an urgent procedure. Opposition and NGO representatives are highly concerned about the ruling party’s attempt to narrow the space for civil rights and freedoms. They believe that the “tents law” will provide the police with more powers to curtail the freedom of assembly, describing the amendment as “another Russian law.” More detailed information on the “tents law” the GD party rushes through the parliament can be found in the following Explainer:

Russia’s TASS news agency reported that Mamuka Mamulashvili, commander of the “Georgian National Legion” fighting in Ukraine, has been placed on Russia’s wanted list for his “alleged involvement in recruitment and participation in hostilities on behalf of the Ukrainian armed forces.” The Russian Investigative Committee initiated these charges against Mamulashvili and his associates in late July this year, alleging that Mamulashvili founded the “Georgian National Legion” in 2014 and recruited Georgian immigrants to engage in hostilities against the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).


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