NewsThe Daily Beat

The Daily Beat: 3 April

On April 3, the parliamentary majority leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Mamuka Mdinaradze, announced the reintroduction of the draft law on foreign agents, which was dropped last year after March protests. According to Mdinaradze, the bill’s content remains the same, and the only change is in the title: the term “agent” in the bill has been replaced with “Organization Pursuing the Interests of a Foreign Power.”

Commenting on the ruling party’s intention to reintroduce the so-called Foreign Agents Law, Speaker Shalva Papuashvili told Netgazeti that Georgia wants to join the EU peacefully, in a stable condition, and not as a ruined country. ”The task isn’t to move forward on the path of the EU at all costs now. Our task, the goal of the Georgian people, is to move forward in the EU so that we do not harm ourselves,” said Papuashvili.

Reacting to the opposition’s criticism during the parliamentary session, Speaker Papuashvili threatened to turn off the microphone of all those MPs who would dare to refer to the reintroduced bill on foreign agents as “Russian Law,” calling on the opposition to stop anti-Georgian propaganda.  “This pathetics you got away with last year won’t fly this year,” – claimed Papuashvili.

Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze predictably issued a statement supporting the ruling Georgian Dream party’s reintroduction of the Foreign Agents Law. PM Kobakhidze claims that the Georgian government is fully “European-style” transparent and hopes this law will also help NGOs and their donors to Europeanize. “It is extremely un-European to avoid the minimum standard of transparency and not even want to publish the annual financial statement”- reads the PM’s statement.

In a statement made at the press briefing, President Salome Zurabishvili accused the Georgian Dream party of “sabotaging” the country’s European future. In her statement, the President also criticized the ruling party for failing to carry out necessary judicial, electoral, and anti-corruption reforms and issuing ultimatums to the United States. She also called on citizens to react to the “Russian Law” and “Russian path” by actively participating in the upcoming parliamentary elections under one “European flag.”

The reintroduction of the so-called Foreign Agents Law triggered widespread condemnation by the opposition representatives, local independent media outlets, and European lawmakers, describing it as an anti-Western, autocratic initiative undermining the country’s European integration and democracy.

The Ministerial Council on Restoring Justice for Ukraine, with the support of 44 countries, including Georgia, adopted a political declaration calling for the establishment of a special tribunal in the Hague to investigate and prosecute Russia’s crime of aggression against Ukraine. The signatories condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine as a clear violation of the international legal order and call upon Russia to cease the war of aggression against Ukraine.  

In an interview with the Russian media outlet “Arguments and Facts,” the de-facto leader of the Russia-occupied Abkhazia, Aslan Bzhania, spoke of relations with the rest of Georgia as well as the Russian Federation. “We do not experience any aggression towards the Georgian people,” and “it is important for the state of Abkhazia to be recognized by Georgia,” Bzhania told a Russian media outlet, further claiming that the destinies of Abkhazia and Russia are “inseparable.”

Profanity of the Day

Georgian Dream MP Beka Odisharia lashed out at female MPs who accused him of being corrupt during parliamentary debates on abolishing women’s quotas. MP Odisharia used sexually explicit profanity against female colleagues. “Fuck you, you herd of unf*cked (sexually unsatisfied) females, this is a syndrome of unf*cked women, unf*cked,” Odisharia told female MPs, prompting a massive backlash from the opposition, media, and human rights activists.

In the same session, parliament approved amendments to the election code in the first hearing, tabled by the Girchi party and supported by the Georgian Dream, envisaging the cancelation of women’s quotas from the party lists of the parliamentary elections.

Public Defender Levan Ioseliani denounced both the amendments to the election code and Odisharia’s obscene and insulting remarks.

Corrigendum: In April 1 Daily Beat we said Girchi-More Freedom struck a deal with GD in abolishing quotas for women in election lists. It was of course Girchi, not Girchi-More Freedom. We apologize.


Back to top button