Parliament of Georgia Fails to Impeach Salome Zurabishvili 

On October 18, the impeachment of President Salome Zurabishvili failed in the Parliament of Georgia. Only 86 members of the Parliament supported the impeachment of the President. 

According to the voting results, Salome Zurabishvili remains in the post of head of state.

Voting on the issue of removal from office by impeachment was conducted by secret ballot. During the voting, in the hall of plenary sessions of the Parliament, in addition to the members of “Georgian Dream”, members of “European Socialists”, “Girchi” and “Citizens” were present.

According to the legislation, if the impeachment motion does not receive the support of the required number of deputies, which is 100, the matter is considered closed and cannot be brought up again.

The chairman of the parliamentary faction of the “United National Movement”, Tinatin Bokuchava, said that “the process in the Parliament of Georgia ended with the defeat of Ivanishvili, because he did not achieve the main goal of impeachment, although he achieved a lot of damage to the country, including the process of our country’s European integration.”

“Lelo for Georgia” MP Ana Natsvilishvili noted that “today is a day of failure for “Georgian Dream” and Kobakhidze, who initiated this very damaging process for the country and also for the party, should take responsibility for this failure.”

The unsuccessful attempt to impeach President Salome Zurabishvili was followed by the comments of the MEPs.

“Victory of common sense, victory of the Constitution of Georgia, victory of the European future of Georgia”. – writes MEP Miriam Lexman on Twitter.

“Democratic institutions turned out to be more effective than oligarchic ones,” said MEP Viola von Cramon.

Constitutional Court: The President violated the Constitution

According to the decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia, President Salome Zurabishvili violated the Constitution. The decision was announced in the Constitutional Court on October 16.

6 out of 9 judges of the Constitutional Court supported the conclusion of the Constitutional Court, by which the President was recognized as a violator of the Constitution. The judges who expressed a different opinion are Irina Imerlishvili, Giorgi Kverenchkhiladze and Teimuraz Tughushi.

Deputies of the “Georgian Dream” appealed to the Constitutional Court against the President. They have initiated the impeachment procedure against the president. The position of the president herself is that she conducts her visits abroad to gain support for granting Georgia candidate status.

After the decision of the Constitutional Court, the processes must continue in the Parliament. Parliament makes the final decision on impeachment, where 100 deputies need support for this. “Georgian Dream” and its allies do not have 100 mandates at this stage.

According to Irakli Kobakhidze, chairman of “Georgian Dream”, if Salome Zurabishvili had “dignity” left, she would have resigned from the position of president immediately after the constitutional court determined that she had violated the constitution.

“However, we also understand that Salome Zurabishvili is not independent in her decisions, and she cannot make a decision to resign without the consent of the forces that pushed her to grossly violate the Constitution of Georgia,” Kobakhidze said.

The General Secretary of the “United National Movement”, Petre Tsiskarishvili, evaluates the events developed around the issue of impeachment of the President as “tragi-comic” and evaluates them as a continuation of the “Russian show”.

According to Badri Japaridze, one of the leaders of “Lelo”, the impeachment of the president was “dictated by Russia”, and the policy of the ruling party “is based on Putin’s instructions”. According to his assessment, “Dream” wants to strike an institution that it cannot control, and the Constitutional Court fulfilled the wish of the ruling party.

Prime Minister of Hungary visited Georgia

On October 10, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban arrived in Georgia. On October 11, he met Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. Within the framework of the visit, a meeting of the Georgian-Hungarian intergovernmental commission was also held, which was followed by the signing ceremony of the memorandums. The Prime Ministers of Georgia and Hungary also made joint statements to the media.

According to the administration of the Prime Minister of Georgia, the parties discussed the prospects of deepening fruitful cooperation in various fields. According to the Prime Minister, the holding of the intergovernmental summit in Georgia is part of the practical implementation of the declaration on strategic partnership between Georgia and Hungary signed in Budapest.

Speaking about European integration, Irakli Gharibashvili noted that Georgia “is irreversibly following the European path” and reviewed the steps taken by the Georgian government on this path. The Prime Minister thanked Viktor Orbán for his firm support of the country’s European integration and noted that “Georgia appreciates the steadfast support of our friend Hungary on this path.”

The Prime Ministers also spoke about the progress achieved in strengthening the economic cooperation between the two countries. The Prime Minister of Georgia noted that Georgia and Hungary have great potential for economic cooperation and that “it is important that the existing opportunities are fully utilised.”  

Irakli Gharibashvili and Viktor Orban also talked about the progress of The Black Sea Submarine Cable Project connecting the Caucasus region and Europe. 

On October 12, the prime ministers of Georgia and Hungary held a joint briefing in Telavi. According to Irakli Gharibashvili, the press conference was preceded by an intergovernmental summit between the two countries.

At the beginning of his speech, Prime Minister Gharibashvili said that Georgia and Hungary are united by “loyalty to traditional and eternal values”, which can be said to have played a decisive role in preserving our history, culture, and our identity. According to Gharibashvili, “This includes, of course, the loyalty to the motherland and our faith, sanctity of the family, respect for our traditions, and I would be remiss if I did not mention the merits of Mr. Orban in safeguarding and bolstering these cherished values and traditions. I stated in Hungary, and I reiterate now, that the Hungarian people are fortunate to have such a resolute and patriotic leader in such trying and uncertain times. A leader who is solely focused on safeguarding the interests of his nation and serving the needs of its citizens.”

Gharibashvili also spoke about King Erekle II and called him “one of the greatest strategists”, whose main goal was to bring Georgia closer to Europe. According to the Prime Minister, unfortunately, at that time, less attention was paid to Georgia by the European monarchs. “But today we can proudly say that we have the strong support of real European leaders like Mr. Viktor Orbán,” he noted

In turn, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that Hungary highly values Georgia’s struggle for Christianity.

“We highly appreciate the struggle you have been waging for several hundred years to preserve the Christian state. We know what the struggle is, I know this from our Hungarian history, how the countries that did not give up their faith fought,” Orbán said.

The President of Georgia signed the new “Defense Code”

The President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, signed the “Defence Code”. David Tevzadze, the chief adviser to the president in matters of strategic planning, announced this at a briefing. According to Tevzadze, despite the shortcomings, the president still signed the “Defence Code” because it fixes important problems.

“Today, the President of Georgia signed the “Defence Code of Georgia”, because, despite the shortcomings, it fixes one of the well-known and important problems for the society. From now on, conscripts will undergo compulsory military service only in the defence forces, which is in line with the essence of military service and the country’s interest. This will end the harmful practice that has been established for years, when young people had to go through compulsory service in various agencies, mainly in “public” booths, due to which their attitude towards the army became significantly negative.

The powers and activity rules of the National Defense Council defined by the “Defence Code” do not correspond to the situation established by the constitution, which is why the coordination between the National Security Council and the Defense Council, which is in operation today, is unclear, which can create significant problems in the management of the state of war, Tevzadze said.

The libertarian party “Girchi” was particularly critical of the new defense code, which believes that the adoption of the new code is directed against the religious denomination “Biblical Liberty” founded by it, through which young people avoided mandatory military service.

New US Ambassador presents copies of credentials to Georgian President

On October 12, the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, Robin Dunnigan, on Thursday, handed over copies of her credentials to Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili at the Orbeliani Palace.

According to the President’s press office, Robin Dunnigan thanked the President for the reception, adding it was an honour to represent the U.S. President Biden.

According to the press service of the President of Georgia, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the USA to Georgia, Robin Dunnigan, thanked the President for the reception and noted that it is an honour for him to represent the American President Biden. According to him, he expects close cooperation with the President of Georgia, especially when the country strives for Euro-Atlantic integration.

“President Biden extended a warm greeting to the President of Georgia and wished him and the Georgian people well-being,” said Robin Dannigen.

Later, the newly appointed ambassador presented copies of credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, after which an introductory meeting was held between them.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the meeting, the parties discussed current issues of cooperation between Georgia and the USA in bilateral and multilateral formats. 

Robin Dannigen has once again confirmed the firm and unwavering support of the USA for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, as well as for Georgia’s foreign political priorities – European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

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