GD to Change Key Law before Legal Row with President

Ruling Georgian Dream lawmakers mull changes in the law over competence disputes to seemingly help the governing party ahead of a forthcoming legal row with President Salome Zurabishvili in the Constitutional Court.

Currently, as per the Law on Constitutional Court, state bodies have the right to lodge a constitutional claim over competencies against another body primarily if there are questions regarding the compliance of normative acts – adopted/issued by the defendant — with the Constitution.

But, according to proposed changes proposed, published in the media on March 19, the GD wants to add a rather ambiguous “action or inaction” to the list of legal grounds for suing another state body.

The Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), a key local watchdog, accused the Georgian Dream party of attempts to achieve their party goals by amending the law.

“The Georgian Dream’s initiation of this bill clearly indicates their attempt at political revenge against the President,” said GYLA.

The watchdog called on the governing party “to stop the arbitrary using of the legislative amendment mechanisms for narrow political purposes, which serves as a personal revenge against the President of Georgia.”

The Georgian Dream announced that the Government will sue Salome Zurabishvili in the Constitutional Court over competencies on March 15, arguing the President violated the supreme law on several occasions, including by recent unauthorized visits to Paris and Brussels.

The GD claimed that President Zurabishvili has overstepped her competencies and pursued foreign policy by side-stepping the Georgian Government. It also said that the President on multiple occasions refused to appoint an ambassador or diplomatic representative nominated by the government.

The GD announcement came a day after President Zurabishvili, in her annual parliamentary address, criticized the Government for blocking her visits to western capitals amid Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

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