The Parliament of Georgia gave final approval on Tuesday to a contentious bill that has prompted a series of tense protests in the capital, Tbilisi, spurred by fears that the legislation could push the country back into the Kremlin’s orbit.

President Salome Zourabichvili has promised to veto the bill. But Georgian Dream, the governing party in Georgia since 2012, has enough votes to override her veto.

Both the opposition and the government have presented the passage of the innocuous-sounding bill, titled “On Transparency of Foreign Influence,” as a momentous step in the history of Georgia, a mountainous country of 3.6 million saddled in the middle of the Caucasus Mountains.

The draft law would require nongovernmental groups and media outlets that receive more than 20 percent of their funding from foreign sources to register as “organizations carrying the interests of foreign power” and provide annual financial statements about their activities. Georgia’s justice ministry would be given broad powers to monitor compliance. Violations would incur fines equivalent to more than $9,300.

Government officials and lawmakers from the ruling party said that the draft law would strengthen the country’s sovereignty by making nongovernmental organizations, which have occupied a central role in Georgia’s highly polarized political life, more transparent to the public.

But the vocal pro-Western opposition has denounced the legislation as a stealthy effort to convert Georgia into a pro-Russian state.


source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Boy photographed playing in dust pile dies moments later: 'Tragic'

A 7-year-old boy in Brazil died moments after he played in a…

Army vet seeks to save Afghan commando stuck in Turkey, living in fear of Taliban

FIRST ON FOX: The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 marked…

Russian Missile Hits Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Killing 3

Three people were killed and nine others were injured after a Russian…

13 novelists announced as Booker Prize semifinalists

Author Sebastian Barry, who has received four previous nominations for the Booker…