The Parliament passed controversial amendments to the Broadcasting Law, transferring the disputes related to content from self-regulation to state regulation. The ruling party claims this is done to conform with the EU directive. Watchdogs say the measures go too far, especially considering the government’s efforts to stifle dissent.
Don’t miss a beat!
Civil society watchdogs are alarmed over the ruling party’s refusal to pick one of three opposition-backed candidates for an ombudsman. They say the majority party reneged on its commitment and torpedoed three out of 12 EU recommendations for candidacy by this single move.
Former president, Giorgi Margvelashvili led the pack of former parliament speakers, ministers, and ambassadors in a call to allow his predecessor, imprisoned and ailing Mikheil Saakashvili, to be treated abroad. The statement was signed by some of the erstwhile members of the Georgian Dream coalition, and said the country should be pulled away from the “vortex of revenge”.
Former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia lashed out at his former patron, Bidzina Ivanishvili for the first time. Since his abrupt departure from the office, Gakharia joined the opposition but stayed away from Ivanishvili-bashing. This time, Gakharia decried the mafia-style “shadow rule”, and said some “idiots” in the ruling party and the government are undermining Georgia’s EU integration. Even though Gakharia said Ivanishvili may be personally sanctioned if he stays the course, he did not go as far as to sign Margvelashvili’s open letter (yet).
Number of the Day
Zero – this is how many times the executive officials appeared at the parliamentary hearings after being summoned by the opposition. A total of 12 such requests were filed. This is a finding from Transparency International – Georgia’s recent report on the parliamentary oversight, which says the executive has dodged the demands of accountability. The fact that the opposition refused to take seats for quite some time, did not help in furthering the oversight role, said the watchdog. The report covers the period between December 2020 and June 2022.