Parliament Extends Law Allowing Gov’t to Restrict Rights Without Emergency

The Parliament of Georgia on December 29 once again extended the controversial amendments to the Law on Public Health for six months, allowing the Government to restrict rights without declaring a state of emergency and parliamentary oversight until July 1, 2021.

The decision endorsed at the Parliament’s plenary session passed with 82 votes unanimously as opposition MPs are boycotting the Parliament over alleged election-rigging and demanding revote.

Presenting the amendments for an accelerated procedure, ruling Georgian Dream party lawmaker Dimitri Khundadze, Chair of the Healthcare and Social Issues Committee, said extending the law will allow the Government to take appropriate measures for managing the nationwide epidemiological situation without declaring a state of emergency.

“I hope that after six months we will not need to extend the validity of the law, but for this, the public is obliged to follow the recommendations and rules issued by the Advisory Council,” he noted.

The amendments were first adopted on May 22 – the day Georgia finished its two-month-long COVID-related state of emergency, and then extended for the first time on July 14, set to expire on December 31, 2020.

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