The conflict between the president and the ruling political team of Georgia is getting worse. On Monday, Salome Zourabichvili demonstratively refused to participate in the Ambassadors’ Conference 2022 due to “gross violations of generally recognized and established rules of state and diplomatic protocol”.
“According to the Constitution of Georgia, the President of Georgia is the head of state. The constitution will endow the institution of the president with the highest status in relation to all other state institutions.
“Based on the foregoing, gross violations of the generally recognized and established rules of state and diplomatic protocol at the events of state institutions are unacceptable, especially at the main diplomatic forum organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. Such a violation, unfortunately, took place at the opening of the conference of ambassadors and was expressed in the fact that the organizer of the event did not provide the President of Georgia with the place due to her status at the conference,” the presidential administration said in a statement released Monday.
Televisions have broadcast footage showing a chair with President Salome Zourabichvili’s inscription in the first row of the conference hall, however, before the opening ceremony, one of the employees takes this chair out.
The president’s administration then issued another statement saying it was canceling all official events until the New Year due to “logistical difficulties”.
In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released its statement, denying that a seat was not allocated for the president at the conference and expressing concern that the “world-recognized rule” of the protocol layout was unacceptable to the president.
At the same time, the pressure on Salome Zourabichvili to pardon the Third President, Mikheil Saakashvili, and allow him to travel abroad for treatment is increasing from the political and public circles of Georgia and the West. Over the last few days, hundreds of people have addressed her with such a request, although her administration has not commented on it in the last few days. Before that, she announced that the decision to release the ex-president from prison should be made by the judiciary.