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Venice Commission Tells Georgia to Shelve De-Oligarchization Law

On June 12, the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission told Georgia to shelve the proposed draft law on de-oligarchization, citing the potential for political abuse and arbitrary application.

The Commission issued the report after studying the revised draft and holding meetings in Tbilisi with the government, opposition, and CSOs.

The Commission said the law is taking a “personal” rather than “systemic” approach by targeting specific individuals as “oligarchs.” The opinion reads that personal measures should be the last resort, compliant with the principles of political pluralism and the rule of law.

The Commission considers that, in its current form, the draft law is neither democratic nor an effective response to oligarchic influence.

The Commission recommended to address the problem that the Georgian authorities:

  • Conduct an in-depth analysis of existing systemic measures and their shortcomings.
  • Devise corrective legislation and measures, including effective competition policy, anti-corruption efforts, transparency in public procurement and media ownership, enhanced anti-money laundering policies, reinforced rules on political financing, and amendments to tax legislation.
  • Strengthen the independence and effectiveness of the key regulatory and controlling authorities.
  • Assess ways for institutions to work together to prevent and eliminate oligarchic influence.
  • Implement a comprehensive system with a focused strategy to address oligarchic influence, recognizing its interconnected nature and promoting collaboration between different fields of law and institutions.
  • Implement it without delay in a transparent and accountable manner.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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