In Georgia, the scandalous draft law on “foreign agents” was withdrawn

Anhelina Sheremet

In Georgia, the parliamentary majority announced on the morning of March 9 that it was withdrawing the draft law on "foreign agents" from the parliament, which caused a wave of protests in the country and concerns of Western partners.

This is stated in the statement of the ruling party "Georgian Dream".

According to the party, the decision was made in connection with the "current political processes surrounding the law" and after consultations between the political trade union "Georgian Dream", "Peopleʼs Power" and the MPs of the parliamentary majority.

"Georgian Dream" believes that "the machine of lies was able to present the draft law in a negative light and mislead a certain part of the public", the draft law was "put on a false label of a Russian law" and its adoption in the first reading was "presented as a deviation from the European course in in the eyes of part of society".

The EU delegation in Georgia supported the decision to withdraw the draft law.

"We welcome the statement of the ruling party to withdraw the draft law on "foreign influence". We call on all political leaders of Georgia to resume pro-European reforms in an inclusive and constructive manner in order to achieve candidate status [for EU accession],” the embassy noted in a statement on Twitter.

On the night of March 8-9, protests against this draft law continued in Georgia. In Tbilisi, the police used tear gas and water cannons, demonstrators threw stones, set garbage cans on fire, and erected barricades.

  • On March 7, the Parliament of Georgia adopted the draft law on "foreign agents" in the first reading. According to the document, mass media and public organizations that receive funding from abroad will be granted the status of "foreign agent". This is actually a copy of the Russian law. After the adoption of the draft law, mass protests began in Tbilisi, water cannons, stun grenades and tear gas were used against the participants of the action. On the first day of the protests, 66 people were detained.
  • The EU stated that the draft law contradicts the terms of the countryʼs entry into the bloc, the US embassy in Georgia called the adoption of this document "a black day for Georgian democracy", and President Salome Zurabishvili said she would veto the law.