Reuters: The fate of the bill on "foreign agents" is widely seen as a test of whether Georgia intends to pursue a path of integration with the West or move closer towards Russia

18.04.24 11:00

Georgia's parliament gave initial approval on Wednesday to a bill on "foreign agents" that the European Union said risked blocking the country's path to membership and triggered protests for a third straight night, Reuters reports.


According to article, the fate of the bill is widely seen as a test of whether Georgia, 33 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, intends to pursue a path of integration with the West or move closer towards Russia.


“Critics compare the bill to a law that Russia has used extensively to crack down on dissent.


As many as 10,000 opponents of the bill gathered outside the parliament, sitting atop cars and buildings -- a day after police used pepper spray to clear protesters away from part of the building.


Several thousand protesters moved over to the government building, heavily guarded by police, to demand a meeting with Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze, the bill's principal backer.


Some demonstrators, many wearing helmets and masks, scuffled with police outside the building.


Eighty-three of 150 deputies voted in favour while opposition MPs boycotted the vote. The bill must pass two more readings before becoming law.


The prime minister, in comments quoted by Interpress news agency, said Western politicians had not produced a single valid argument against the bill, and their statements would not prompt the government to change its mind.


President Salome Zourabichvili, whose role is mostly ceremonial, said she would veto the law if it was passed. But parliament has the power to override her veto”, reads the article.




Read: 379

Write comment

(In their comments, readers should avoid expressing religious, racial and national discrimination, not use offensive and derogatory expressions, as well as appeals that are contrary to the law)

You can enter 512 characters

News feed