EventsEventsPodcasts
Loader
Find Us
ADVERTISEMENT

Georgian parliament committee rejects presidential veto of divisive 'Russian law'

FILE - Demonstrators gather outside the parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, to protest against "the Russian law" similar to a law that Russi
FILE - Demonstrators gather outside the parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, to protest against "the Russian law" similar to a law that Russi Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By Euronews with AP
Published on
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

The move sets up the possibility of a vote of the full legislature on Tuesday to override President Salome Zourabichvili’s veto of the measure.

ADVERTISEMENT

A Georgian parliament committee rejected on Monday the president’s veto of the "foreign agents" law which has sparked massive protests for weeks.

The move sets up the possibility of a vote of the full legislature on Tuesday to override President Salome Zourabichvili’s veto of the measure, which she and other critics say will restrict media freedom and obstruct Georgia’s chances of joining the European Union.

The law would require news media and non-governmental organisations that get more than 20% of their budget from abroad to register as “carrying out the interests of a foreign power.” Opponents denounce it as “the Russian law” because it resembles measures pushed through by the Kremlin.

Zourabichvili vetoed the law on 18 May after it was passed in parliament by deputies from the governing Georgian Dream party and its allies. That bloc has sufficient votes in parliament to override the veto.

Large protests have repeatedly gripped the capital, Tbilisi, as the measure made its way through parliament.

President and prime minister trade barbs

On Sunday, Zourabichvili and Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze decried each other in speeches at a ceremony marking Georgia's Independence Day.

“As the specter of Russia looms over us, partnership and rapprochement with Europe are the true path to preserving and strengthening our independence and peace. Those who sabotage and undermine this path trample upon and damage the peaceful and secure future of our country, hindering the path towards becoming a full member of the free and democratic world,” Zourabichvili said.

Kobakhidze sharply criticised Zourabichvili.

“It was the unity and reasonable steps of the people and their elected government that gave us the opportunity to maintain peace in the country for the past two years despite existential threats and multiple betrayals, including the betrayal of the president of Georgia,” PM Kobakhidze said.

Demonstrators rally during an opposition protest against foreign influence bill and celebrating the Independence Day in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, May 26, 2024.
Demonstrators rally during an opposition protest against foreign influence bill and celebrating the Independence Day in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sunday, May 26, 2024.AP

The EU’s foreign policy arm has said the law's adoption "negatively impacts Georgia’s progress on the EU path.” Critics say Russia may have driven it to thwart Tbilisi's chances of further integrating with the West.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday announced that travel sanctions would be imposed on Georgian officials “who are responsible for or complicit in undermining democracy in Georgia.”

"It remains our hope that Georgia’s leaders will reconsider the draft law and take steps to move forward with their nation’s democratic and Euro-Atlantic aspirations,” added Blinken.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Georgia's president and prime minister trade barbs over vetoed 'Russian law'

US pressures Georgia government to ditch 'foreign agent' law

Georgia at the crossroads as foreign influence law deepens divisions