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Monday, June 17, 2024

The veto is gone. The president addressed the nation

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The Georgian parliament rejected the presidential veto on the controversial law on foreign agents. The vote was preceded by a heated debate on the project, during which an opposition deputy was thrown with water. Mass protests have been going on since April against the project pushed by the Georgian government. President Salome Zourabishvili appealed to the nation in a speech.

President Salome Zourabishvili, sending the vetoed bill back to parliament, emphasized that “it is unconstitutional and its improvement is not possible.” The head of state's veto was rejected on Monday by the parliament's legal committee. Discussions on the veto were accompanied by sharp exchanges of opinions between the opposition and the ruling Georgian Dream. On Tuesday, a vote on this matter took place in parliament, which rejected the presidential veto by a vote of 84 to 76. The head of state now has five days to sign this regulation, the Associated Press reported.

Earlier, a heated debate on the controversial project took place in parliament. During his speech, opposition MP Giorgi Vashadze, who spoke critically about the bill, was doused with water.

Protest in Tbilisi VANO SHLAMOV/AFP/East News

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Speech of the head of state

– They pressed the button with their finger, writing their names on one side of the story. We should do everything to prepare for October 26 (elections parliamentary v Georgia – ed.), which will be our response to today, said President Zurabishvili in a speech reported by the Georgian media.

As reported by Sova, the president appealed to citizens to collect signatures for a referendum on the future of Georgia. – This energy that is in you should be directed towards collecting signatures and bringing them to me so that I can sign an appeal to hold a referendum: whether we want a European future or Russian slavery – said Zurabishvili, addressing the Georgians protesting against the law on foreign agents.

– 84 people will not be able to decide this. We will decide – together. 84 people are nothing compared to who you are – the new Georgia of the future – emphasized the president.

She called the 84 deputies who voted on Tuesday to reject her veto against the controversial bill “collective Ordzhonikidze” (Georgian and Soviet communist activist, member of the Politburo, People's Commissar – ed.) and compared them to members of the Shulaveri communist revolutionary committee from 1921 – he noted Sova portal.

Massive protests in Georgia

Mass protests have been going on in Georgia since April in connection with the bill.

The act provides that legal entities and media receiving more than 20 percent of financing from abroad would be subject to registration and reporting and would be entered into the register of agents of foreign influence.

According to the opposition, the new regulations will enable the authorities to destroy civil society and introduce an authoritarian model of government similar to the Russian one.

Main photo source: VANO SHLAMOV/AFP/East News

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