Georgian legislature to pass foreign-agents bill in final reading on May 14 — PM

  TBILISI:  The Georgian parliament will adopt the bill on foreign agents in the third and final reading on May 14, Prime Minister Irakli Ko...

 


TBILISI:  The Georgian parliament will adopt the bill on foreign agents in the third and final reading on May 14, Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze told reporters.

"Tomorrow the Georgian parliament will act in accordance with the reasonable will of the majority of the Georgian population and will pass the third reading of the bill, which will play a crucial role in ending the so-called polarization that was imposed from the outside," he said at a news conference.

The prime minister criticized police violence against the protesters.

Some Georgian news media earlier released photos and video footage showing police using force against people that were detained at a rally outside the Georgian parliament.

"I really dislike such incidents. I again urge everyone to meet all provocations with maximum tolerance," he said.

The Georgian parliament's Legal Affairs Committee endorsed the third reading of the bill on foreign agents on Monday. Protesters against the bill began to gather outside the parliament the day before to prevent lawmakers from considering the document. At dawn on Monday, police pushed the protesters away from entrances to the legislature. Scuffles broke out from time to time, with 20 people detained, including one Russian national, one Moldovan national and two Americans.

On May 1, the Georgian legislature backed the second reading of the bill On Transparency of Foreign Influence which was opposed by Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili, the opposition and Western diplomats who regard the legislation as a hurdle to the country’s integration into the European Union. The US State Department said the bill is aimed at undermining the country's vibrant civil society. Leaders of the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party argued that the bill only serves the purpose of ensuring transparency of foreign funding provided to non-governmental organizations and news media.

Zourabichvili said she would veto the bill. Since April 15, opposition and civil activists have been holding rallies in Tbilisi against the legislation. Several times the protests escalated into clashes with law enforcement officers, and riot police used pepper gas and water cannons to disperse protesters.


-News Feed

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Local Glob: Georgian legislature to pass foreign-agents bill in final reading on May 14 — PM
Georgian legislature to pass foreign-agents bill in final reading on May 14 — PM
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