On March 14, 2022 President of Georgia submitted a report on crucial state-related issues to the Parliament of Georgia. In her speech the president mentioned that her requests to conduct official international visits in Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Warsaw were rejected in written form. Some of the leaders of the ruling party considered the President’s actions as a violation of the requirements of the Constitution of Georgia. Violation of the constitution is a serious legal accusation and could result even in impeachment when regarding the President of Georgia. On March 15, 2022 political council of the ruling party stated that they plan to apply to the Constitutional Court of Georgia regarding this so-called violation of the Constitution of Georgia.
Hence, it is important to analyze the legal grounds for the allegations made by the ruling party.
Brief Review of the legal assessment
According to article 49 of the Constitution of Georgia, The President of Georgia is the Head of the State of Georgia and the guarantor of the country’s unity and national independence. Furthermore, the President represents Georgia in foreign relations.
The President’s competency in foreign policy is limited and mostlyis implemented with the Consent of the Government of Georgia. But this does not mean that the President’s each action or inaction that affects foreign policy needs Government’s permission.
Without government’s consent, the President is not allowed to conclude international treaties or to vote in international organizations, however as the head of the state, the President is not prohibited from expressing her views on foreign policy inside or outside the country, especially during the informal meetings. More precisely, not all steps taken by the President in terms of international cooperation will depend on the will of the Georgian Government and it cannot be considered as implementation of the foreign policy.
According to information available to the public, meetings held by the President were not formal and did not result in imposing any new obligations on Georgia. At the same time, according to the Constitution of Georgia, the President of Georgia is entitled, moreover is obliged to take all measures within the scope of her competence to ensure the full integration of Georgia into the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. President’s statements made in Georgia or outside of the country did not go beyond the requirements of the Constitution of Georgia. Moreover, such actions taken by the President of Georgia can be perceived as a direct constitutional obligation of the Head of State.
From our point of view, all the circumstances indicate that the President, as the Head of State, just fulfilled her obligation/competency imposed by the Constitution of Georgia. Also, taking into consideration the current war in Ukraine, the President’s increased role in domestic and foreign policy is caused not by the violation of her constitutional mandate, but by the passive actionsand the problematic views of the Parliament and the Government of Georgia.
To conclude, we consider that accusations againstthe President about the violation of the Constitution of Georgia have no firm legal grounds.
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