The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement ahead of the upcoming vote on President Salome Zurabishvili’s impeachment on October 18. The statement reads that France has taken note of the decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia to validate the impeachment procedure initiated by the parliamentary majority, with the support of the government, against the President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, according to civil.ge
La France a pris note de la décision de la Cour constitutionnelle de la Géorgie de valider la procédure de destitution engagée par la majorité parlementaire, avec l’appui du gouvernement, contre la Présidente de la Géorgie, Mme Salomé Zourabichvili.
A un moment crucial pour l’avenir du pays, où l’unité et la cohésion autour des valeurs européennes doivent prévaloir, la France attend du gouvernement géorgien qu’il fasse preuve de responsabilité et concentre ses efforts sur la mise en œuvre de l’ensemble des réformes nécessaires pour conforter la démocratie et l’État de droit, en lien notamment avec les 12 priorités énoncées par la Commission dans son Avis de juin 2022 sur la demande d’adhésion de la Géorgie à l’Union européenne.
The statement further states: “At a crucial moment for the future of the country, where unity and cohesion around European values must prevail, France expects the Georgian government to demonstrate responsibility and focus its efforts on the implementation of the set of reforms necessary to consolidate democracy and the rule of law, in particular in connection with the 12 priorities set out by the Commission in its Opinion of June 2022 on Georgia’s application for membership of the European Union.”
Salome Zurabishvili was born in Paris, France into a family of Georgian political refugees. She served as a French diplomat before accepting in 2004 the Georgian nationality and becoming a Foreign Minister of Georgia, and later starting political career in Georgia.
On October 16, the Constitutional Court of Georgia ruled that President Salome Zurabishvili has violated the Constitution. The Court determined that the President breached the country’s Constitution by making working visits to Europe without the Government’s approval.
The vote on the President’s impeachment will be held in the Parliament on October 18.
THE TWELVE PRIORITIES
IN ITS OPINION ON GEORGIA’S APPLICATION, THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION RECOMMENDED THAT GEORGIA BE GRANTED CANDIDATE STATUS, ONCE IT HAS ADDRESSED A NUMBER OF KEY PRIORITIES.
1 – Address the issue of political polarisation, ensuring cooperation across political parties in the spirit of the April 19 agreement.
2- Guarantee the full functioning of all state institutions, strengthening their independent and effective accountability as well as their democratic oversight functions, and further improve the electoral framework.
3 – Implement a transparent and effective judicial reform strategy and action plan based on a broad, inclusive, and cross-party consultation process, ensuring a judiciary that is fully independent, accountable and impartial, and safeguarding the separation of powers.
4 – Strengthen the independence of the Anti-Corruption Agency, in particular, to address 04 high-level corruption cases; equip the new Special Investigative Service and Personal Data Protection Service with resources commensurate to their mandates and ensure
5 – Implement the commitment to “deoligarchisation” by eliminating the excessive influence of vested interests in economic, political, and public life.
6 – Strengthen the fight against organized crime, notably by ensuring rigorous investigations, prosecutions and a credible track record of prosecutions and convictions; guarantee accountability and oversight of law enforcement agencies.
7 – Undertake stronger efforts to guarantee a free, professional, pluralistic and independent media environment, notably by ensuring that criminal procedures brought against media owners fulfil the highest legal standards, and by launching impartial, effective and timely investigations in cases of threats against the safety of journalists.
8 – Move swiftly to strengthen the protection of human rights of vulnerable groups, includ- ing by bringing perpetrators and instigators of violence to justice more effectively.
9 – Consolidate efforts to enhance gender equality and fight violence against women.
10 – Ensure the involvement of civil society in decision-making processes at all levels.
11 – Adopt legislation so that Georgian courts proactively take into account European Court of Human Rights judgments in their deliberations.
12 – Ensure that an independent person is given preference in the process of nominating a new Public Defender (Ombudsperson) and that this process is conducted in a transpar- ent manner; ensure the Office’s effective institutional independence.