Georgia's majority party in parliament pushes to impeach the president but is unlikely to succeed

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — The majority party that dominates the parliament in Georgia has launched a campaign to impeach the country’s president, even though the effort appears unlikely to succeed.

The Georgian Dream party, which is increasingly at odds with President Salome Zourabichvili despite endorsing her election in 2018, announced the effort last week. It said Zourabichvili violated the constitution by travelling to European Union countries without the government's permission.

The party also took offense at recent comments by Zourabichvili, saying it believes they undermine Georgia's aspirations to join the EU.

“She also said the most disturbing thing — that Georgia did not deserve (EU) candidate status last year. After that, of course, we do not need any more evidence for her credibility to be simply lost. We had no other motivation” for the impeachment initiative, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said Monday, according to Georgian media.

Impeachment needs support of 100 of the 150 members in the parliament; Georgian Dream and its allies have 84 seats.

Zourabichvili is increasingly at odds with Georgian Dream, including the party's ties to Russia. When Georgia restored flights to Russia this year, she vowed not to travel on the state airline in protest.

The Georgian presidency, which has notably limited powers, is to switch in 2024 from being a directly elected position to one chosen by a college of electors that includes members of parliament.