Shockwaves in Tbilisi: President Zurabishvili halts ‘Russian Law’ sparking nationwide uproar!

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In a significant political development, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili vetoed the controversial draft “foreign influence” law, which critics have labeled the “Russian law.” This decision was announced in a televised statement, where President Zurabishvili condemned the law as fundamentally un-European and detrimental to Georgia’s aspirations to join the European Union.

Background and Implications of the Law

The proposed law, which mirrors certain Russian legislation aimed at stifling dissent, mandates that organizations receiving over 20% of their funding from foreign sources register as “foreign agents.” This move has triggered extensive backlash both domestically and from international bodies like the European Union, which views it as a regression from democratic norms.

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili vetoes the controversial 'foreign influence' law amid significant public outcry and EU criticism.

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili vetoes the controversial ‘foreign influence’ law amid significant public outcry and EU criticism.

Mass Protests and Parliamentary Dynamics

The veto comes against the backdrop of widespread protests in Tbilisi, where thousands of citizens have been demonstrating against the bill since its first reading in parliament. Despite massive public opposition, the ruling party, which holds a majority in parliament, may potentially override the President’s veto with a second vote.

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Continued Public Unrest and Government’s Stance

Recent events have seen escalating tensions, with protesters, including university students, staging walkouts and rallies. The government, however, defends the bill as a necessary measure for transparency and to safeguard national sovereignty against “pseudo-liberal values.”

President Zurabishvili’s veto represents a critical juncture for Georgia, reflecting a clash between government-driven narratives and public sentiment. The situation underscores the ongoing struggle within the country over its direction on the European map and the balance between national security and democratic freedoms.

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