Constitutional Court Rules President’s Foreign Visits Unconstitutional

On October 16, the Constitutional Court of Georgia ruled that President Salome Zurabishvili has violated the Constitution. The Court determined that the President breached the country’s Constitution by making working visits to Europe without the Government’s approval.

The Court’s decision stated that on 31 August, 1 September and 6 September, when the President made working visits abroad, she exercised her powers of representation in foreign relations without obtaining the consent of the Government of Georgia, thereby violating Article 52(A) of the Constitution of Georgia. The Court concluded that this constituted a violation of the Constitution.

The decision was supported by six out of nine members of the plenum. The Chairman of the Constitutional Court Merab Turava stated that the dissenting opinion of three members of the plenum of the Constitutional Court, Irina Imerlishvili, Giorgi Kverenchkhiladze and Teimuraz Tughushi will be attached to the conclusion.

This case sets an important precedent as it is the first time that the Constitutional Court of Georgia has dealt with the issue of impeachment within its jurisdiction.

Following the Court’s decision, the Parliament now has two weeks to convene a plenary session to discuss and vote on President’s impeachment. The Parliament has the authority to declare this plenary session closed. According to the Leader of the GD party, Irakli Kobakhidze, the vote on the impeachment will be held in Parliament during this week.

On September 12, 80 deputies filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court regarding the impeachment of the President of Georgia. During the three-day hearings, the President was represented by Tamar Chugoshvili, a former MP from the Georgian Dream list, and Maia Kopaleishvili, a former judge of the Constitutional Court. Five MPs from the Georgian Dream party took part in the hearings, including party leader Irakli Kobakhidze, as well as Anri Okhanashvili, Tengiz Sharmanashvili, and Giorgi Kakhiani.

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


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