Georgia’s governing party Georgian Dream announced Friday that it is starting impeachment procedures against Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili in response to what it calls a violation of the country’s constitution, according to a news report by Interpress news. Zourabichvili defied the the ruling party by meeting with the European Council president in Brussels seeking support for Georgia’s accession to the European Union. However Georgian Dream party chairman Irakli Kobakhidze warned her that she was not allowed to conduct meetings in the EU.In a statement, Kobakhidze said, “The Constitution of Georgia provides for the only effective legal mechanism for responding to its violation – this is impeachment.”According to the Georgian Constitution, the support of 100 members of Parliament is required to implement the impeachment. Kobakhidze said that, “[T]he signatures of the members of the parliamentary majority will be collected in the next few days, and the relevant constitutional submission will be filed with the Constitutional Court of Georgia.” However, formal impeachment requires votes from opposition parties, casting doubt on the likelihood of its success.In a subsequent Sunday statement from Georgia’s largest opposition party, the United National Movement (UNM), Chairman Levan Khabeishvili said the party will not “participate in these Russian games” and that the “impeachment issue of the President is a dirty game between Bidzina Ivanishvili and the Russian party.” The UNM chairman also expressed the importance of other issues, highlighting the town of Shovi, where a landslide left a death toll of 17 in August.Comments from European Parliamentarians expressed concern and disapproval of the decision to impeach the president. European Parliamentarian Viola Von Cramon says in a statement, “In my opinion, this is an attempt to divert public attention from real problems, an attempt to divert the public’s attention from other problems.”President Salome has stood up to the coalition in the past. In 2022, then-Chairman of Georgian Dream Mamuka Mdinaradze filed a lawsuit against the president regarding her visits abroad. He told reporters at Interpress that the goal was to “establish facts and define competencies.” Most recently in 2023, a series of civilian and international protests led to the ruling party withdrawing a controversial ‘foreign agent’ bill. President Zourabichvili condemned the bill and said that the bill would “steal Georgia’s future” and hinder progress toward good relations with the EU, adding that she would veto the bill. The ruling party has expressed its disapproval of the French-born president’s pro-EU and anti-Russian sentiments. Georgian Dream has affirmed its stance as anti-EU, especially following its move to unilaterally withdraw from the EU 19 April agreement in 2021.

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