On October 18, the Parliament of Georgia failed to impeach President Salome Zurabishvili, with 86 votes in favor and 1 against. 100 votes were needed for impeachment, but only 90 MPs registered.
Civil.ge has compiled the politicians’ reactions to the failed attempt to impeach the President.
Reactions of the ruling party
Irakli Kobakhidze, Chairman of Georgian Dream: “The majority of the Parliamentarians elected by the people have officially confirmed that they no longer consider Salome Zurabishvili worthy of presidency. Therefore, Salome Zurabishvili will be the President of Georgia only formally for the next year. She will not be the President of Georgia, but that of the National Movement… Salome Zurabishvili declared war not on Irakli Kobakhidze and “Georgian Dream”, but on the Constitution and state institutions of Georgia… Of course, Salome Zurabishvili lost 10 to 0″.
Anri Okhanashvili, Georgian Dream: “Georgian Dream said from the beginning that it did not have the number of votes that would allow us to complete the impeachment process to remove the President from office. Therefore, the result is legally valid, it is a violation of the Constitution, the coalition of United [National] Movement and [Salome] Zurabishvili is politically exposed. This was confirmed today.”
Kakha Kaladze, General Secretary of “Georgian Dream”, Mayor of Tbilisi: “We knew from the very beginning that in our situation it was impossible to complete the mentioned issue – impeachment. I think that this was the main motive for the President’s violation of the Constitution. It did not happen by chance… She knew very well that the “National Movement” would not support the impeachment. It is impossible to equate the European future of our country with the impeachment of the President. Anyone will tell you that this was a violation of the Constitution. It is written in black and white that the president is obliged to get permission from the Government to travel abroad. Violation of this is a crime. Drawing a parallel with the European future of the country is very ridiculous and untrue.”
Reactions of the opposition
Tinatin Bokuchava, United National Movement: “The process in the Georgian Parliament ended with the defeat of Ivanishvili, as he did not achieve the main goal of impeachment, although what he achieved is a lot of damage to the country, including to the European integration process of our country. You know that the decision on the candidate status will be made by the European Commission in just two weeks; you know that Josep Borrell, whom we met personally, including in this Parliament, said that the impeachment process is perceived very negatively in Brussels and therefore it is an obstacle to the European integration of the country. President Zurabishvili also spoke about this today, and Ivanishvili has achieved this goal by harming our country and our country’s European choice”.
Giorgi Vashadze, Strategy Agmashenebeli: “Georgian Dream” has been defeated. It became clear that they have bought the Constitutional Court, they have bought the experts, the people around them, they have bought all the institutions and they have appropriated all of them… The one that could not be broken is the opposition, they do not have a hundred votes, and this is a fact… We have won today together with the people. This will put an end to this farce that has been ongoing in the country for two months”.
Ana Natsvlishvili, Lelo for Georgia: “What is important today is not what will happen here procedurally; it is a political issue… The position of “Lelo” has been known since the first day, we believe that the key guarantee to a peaceful and stable future of Georgia is to be surrounded by reliable partners in the European Union, and therefore, anti-state impeachment will never have the votes of “Lelo”.
Teona Akubardia, parliamentary group “Reforms Group”: “First of all, the defeat of Irakli Kobakhidze and “Georgian Dream” was registered in the Parliament… because they did not achieve their goal and could not remove the President from office, thanks to our resistance”.
Roman Gotsiridze, parliamentary group “Euro-optimists”: “Georgian Dream” was sure that the impeachment would take place, otherwise they would not have started this process and would not have found themselves in such a ridiculous situation. In fact, they experienced a complete moral, political and legal collapse… so the opposition showed both political and moral strength and passed the test”.
Beka Liluashvili, For Georgia: “The result is important. The result confirmed that “Georgian Dream” is a loser. The political task that we had at hand was to not let 100 votes be collected, this task and goal were achieved”.
Tako Charkviani, Law and Justice: “This is not a case of who likes Salome Zurabishvili and who doesn’t, we paid respect to the Presidential institution… Now I emphasize to her [the President] that the fact that she survived the impeachment is the merit of the opposition, society and she herself should try to respect the Presidential institution and try to de-escalate [the situation], which is what the Western partners have indicated to us in the 12 points”.