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17 March, 2022 22:35

Legal Process on President`s Rights Becomes Part of Political Process That Hurts Georgia - Young Barristers

Meetings of the President of Georgia with the leaders of European countries and officials of the European Union cannot be considered a violation of the Constitution of Georgia.The institution of the President is a constitutional body, and all constitutional bodies in Georgia have the discretion to take all measures within their authority to ensure Georgia's full integration into the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.The President was in Paris and Brussels, and public statements were made about the importance of Georgia's integration into the European Union, along with Ukraine and expectations. Thus, it is unfortunate that the legal process for the presidency has become part of a political process that hurts Georgia.The statement of the organization "Young Barristers" says about it.

According to Kale Uridia, a lawyer for Young Barristers, the legal and constitutional reality is different, which needs to be observed and clarified.Article 52 of our Constitution defines the powers of the President. According to paragraph 3 of the named article, the president is empowered to address the people. Once a year he submits a report to the parliament on the most important issues of the state of the country.The President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili exercised her authority and presented her annual report to the Parliament of Georgia on March 14. In his speech, the President explained: “On February 26, 2022, I refused in writing to pay working visits to Paris, Brussels, Berlin, and Warsaw.Given the current situation, I have canceled all official formats. At such times, I found it necessary to use my personal contacts and turn working visits into personal meetings."In contrast to the President's public statement, on March 15, 2022, the ruling political party announced that it intended to apply to the Constitutional Court of Georgia to determine whether the President's violation of the Constitution was within its competence.

According to Kale Uridia, appealing against the violation is a serious accusation, in case of which Article 48 of the Constitution, which deals with the impeachment procedure, should be enacted. Paragraph 1 of the mentioned article, together with other officials, sets out the procedural nuances of the impeachment of the President, one of the grounds for which is the violation of the Constitution by the President.

Clearly, the named factual circumstances need a legal assessment. The aim is to explain the Constitution cumulatively and to answer the question by teleological analysis of the relevant articles - whether the President of Georgia violated the Constitution and whether he exceeded his established authority.

Georgia is a state of parliamentary rule, where the powers of the president are nominal. Chapter 5 of the Constitution is dedicated to the President, according to Article 49 and paragraph 3 of which: "The President of Georgia represents Georgia in foreign relations."

The named record allows for a broad interpretation of the president's power, which is why it should not be interpreted in isolation.In addition to the named article, we should refer to Article 52. Paragraph 1 of the named Article and sub-paragraph "a" of this paragraph, according to which: “with the consent of the Government, exercise representative powers in foreign relations, negotiate with other states and international organizations, conclude international treaties, and accept the accreditation of ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives of other states and international organizations; upon nomination by the Government, appoint and dismiss ambassadors and other heads of diplomatic missions of Georgia”

Discussion should be conducted in this context, it is clear that the president is represented in the international arena with limited powers when it comes to official meetings, but the incumbent said that after he refused to pay official visits, he used personal contacts and turned working visits into private meetings.It is clear that this type of action in the case of cumulative reading of the named articles is constitutional and does not contradict the supreme law of the country. At the same time, we should pay attention to Article 78 of the Constitution of Georgia, according to which:“The constitutional bodies shall take all measures within the scope of their competences to ensure the full integration of Georgia into the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.”

The President's visits served this purpose. As you know, this is the period when Ukraine is trying to sign a document on accelerated accession to the European Union. It is this context that is interesting. The president sought to fulfill his role as guarantor of the constitution. His actions were not and could not be unconstitutional.Georgia has made an official application for EU membership, openly expressed its support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty on various international platforms and voted in favor of decisions made in the European structures against the Russian Federation.

Undoubtedly, the process initiated against the constitutional body - the institution of the President - will not have a positive impact on the international image of Georgia. Especially when part of the territories of Georgia - Abkhazia and Samachablo - are occupied by the Russian Federation. Thus, even in view of this reality, it is essential not to conduct a process against the state constitutional bodies that would harm the interests of the country.

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