Georgian ruling party plans to resubmit controversial 'foreign influence' bill

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FILE PHOTO Copyright Shakh Aivazov/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Shakh Aivazov/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with EBU
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In response to the decision to bring back the controversial “foreign agents law” - a move previously halted by mass protests - pro-democracy organisations have called for demonstrations.

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Georgia's ruling party, the Georgian Dream, announced plans to resubmit a controversial draft bill to Parliament, named “On the Transparency of Foreign Influence” on Wednesday. 

The bill, criticised for mirroring a Russian law used to suppress opposition, previously sparked major protests against the government last year.

The draft law is expected to pass all three readings by the end of the current parliamentary session.

"In the draft law initiated by us today, the term 'organisation pursuing the interests of a foreign power' will be used instead of the term 'agent of foreign influence. All other sections of the draft law remain unchanged," the Georgian Dream party said.

In March 2023, protests erupted leading to clashes between demonstrators and police. Law enforcement resorted to using water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Under pressure from mass protests, the government dropped the bill inspired by the Russian model to classify NGOs and media as "foreign agents" that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad.

In response to the governing party's decision to bring back the controversial “foreign agents law” - a move previously halted by mass protests - pro-democracy organizations have mobilised calls for demonstrations.

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