TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia is considering simplifying the procedures for impeaching some holders of high office.
Apart from the president, the change will apply to the head of the Supreme Court, members of government, the general auditor of the State Audit Office and members of the board of the National Bank.
The draft was prepared by Vakhtang Khmaladze, a member of parliament from the Georgian Dream coalition and chair of parliament’s judiciary committee, and parliament has now started to review it.
Under current regulations, in order to impeach the president, parliament must first vote whether to initiate an impeachment process or not. If the decision gets a vast majority of votes, then the parliament will vote whether to impeach the president or not.
The new draft suggests removing the process of voting on whether to initiate the impeachment procedure and instead directly vote whether to impeach the president or not.
When it comes to impeaching officials, the Supreme Court will not be involved in the process anymore, and if the procedure of impeachment starts, the case will be transferred directly to the Constitutional Court.
According to the draft, as soon as the Constitutional Court sends its decision to the parliament, the legislative body must review it within 15 days and finally vote whether to dismiss the official. When the decision is made, officials must be informed about it no later than three hours after the ballot.
If there are no plenary sessions as the conclusion is received from the Constitutional Court, the president will be requested to call a special session.
The explanatory note accompanying the draft says there was a need to simplify impeachment procedures after review of the constitutional amendments which come into force after the presidential election in October. After the election, the president will take on more of a ceremonial role while power is transfered to the prime minister.
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