Despite the opposition of a large part of the public and the calls from international partners to withdraw the majority-backed Russian-style bills on “foreign agents”, the parliamentary majority began their first reading at the plenary session on March 7.
Yesterday, on March 6, Mamuka Mdinaradze, the Chair of the parliamentary faction “Georgian Dream”, announced that the Parliament would start discussing the draft laws on Thursday, March 9. However, the majority suddenly changed the agenda of today’s plenary session, just as the protesters rallying near the Parliament building dispersed.
As soon as the news of the start of the debate on the bills became public, protesters began to gather again near the parliament.
Reaction by Opposition
Opposition representatives held an urgent briefing as soon as it became known that the debates on the Draft Law would take place at today’s Plenary session.
“Today the unity of Georgian society is very important… now it is very important to start and continue this struggle together with joint forces. We will be here and we will prevent the adoption of this law as much as possible… there is strength in unity,”- said Khatia Dekanoidze, MP from the United National Movement.
“A historic punishment awaits them [the majority], [because] they are involved in an anti-Georgian, and therefore Russian, cause,” –said Anna Buchukuri, am MP from former Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia’s ‘For Georgia’ party.
“We are the soldiers of our country and we must fulfil our duty before the country, continue the struggle against the Russian occupation regime, including within the Parliament, but we need a strengthened, fortified support from you, the Georgian people, therefore, come to the Parliament of Georgia,”- called on the citizens Salome Samadashvili, MP from Lelo.
“They [the majority] are afraid, they want to pass this law secretly behind people’s backs, that is why it is necessary that as many people as possible come to the parliament. They know very well that they are committing a betrayal, that’s why they want to pass this law without the people, secretly, covertly”, – noted Paata Manjgaladze, MP of “Strategy Agmashenebeli”.
“I ask all those who know what awaits the country if this law is passed, to come and support us. We are not strong enough to show the resistance you expect of us if we don’t have your support,”- Khatuna Samnidze, a member of parliament from the “Republican” party, appealed to the citizens.
“The arrival of every citizen and your voice is important so that the ‘Georgian Dream’ can see – they are alone. Your support is vital,”- said independent MP Tamar Kordzaia.
“I appeal to everyone who values our European and Euro-Atlantic future… please come to the Parliament and protest against the Russian law,” –said independent MP Teona Akubardia.
- 06/03/2023 – UPDATED: Legal Committee Endorses “Foreign Agent” Laws
- 02/03/2023 – Parliament Launches Discussions on “Foreign Agents” Amid Scuffles, Endorses the Draft Laws
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