CSOs Make Statement Reminding GD Leaders of their Past Work with International Organizations

In an apparent attempt to expose the duplicity of ruling party officials, Georgian civil society organizations issued a statement today calling on the leaders of “Georgian Dream” “to explain to the Georgian people whether they were instructed to act in favor of the interests of a foreign state.”

On April 3, the parliamentary majority announced the reintroduction of the draft law on foreign agents, which was withdrawn under public pressure on March 7-9, 2023. According to the ruling GD, the content of the bill remains unchanged and the term “foreign agent” have been replaced with “organization acting in the interests of a foreign power.”

The authors recall that the representatives of the party which re-introduced the “Russian Law”, have had extensive experience working in organizations funded by the USA and the European Union. The CSOs lists the GD representatives and their places and years of service:

-Irakli Kobakhidze, PM – worked for 9 years in US and UN organizations;

-Shalva Papuashvili, Speaker of the Parliament – worked for 17 years in the German foundation;

– MP Givi Mikanadze, Education, Science and Youth Affairs and Committee Chair –  received funding from the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the United Nations and the European Union for 10 years;

-MP Rati Ionatamishvili, Human Rights and Civic Integration Committee Chair- received funding from the European Union, USAID and other international funds for 9 years;

-MP Nikoloz Samkharadze, Chair of the parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee – worked for 11 years in EU and UN programs;

-MP Archil Talakvadze, member of European Integration parliamentary Committee – worked for 3 years in US organizations and “Soros Foundation”;

-MP Maia Bitadze, member of Foreign Relations Committee – worked for 15 years in UN, OSCE, World Bank organizations.

The undersigned civil society organizations note that some of the named individuals have worked with Georgian NGOs on justice, equality, self-government and other issues in their capacity as representatives of donor organizations.

The statement reads: “Today, they declare that those organizations, which they have represented for years, act in the interests of foreign states and are a threat to Georgia.” The authors call on GD representatives “to explain publicly to the Georgian people whether or not someone instructed them to act in favor of the interests of a foreign state, and if so, to name specific cases.”

The statement concludes by saying that Georgian CSOs “have acted, are acting and will continue to act to achieve the goals stipulated by their statutes, to protect the interests of Georgian citizens and to strengthen democratic public institutions in Georgia.”

The statement is signed by the following CSOs: Human Rights Center, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information, Government Monitoring Center, Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy , Green Alternative, SovLab, Platform Salam, International Society for Fair Elections And Democracy, Civil Society Foundation, Sapari Union, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), Georgian Democracy Initiative, Georgia’s European Orbit, Georgia Reforms Association, CourtWatch, Institute of Social Studies and Analysis, Women’s Initiative Supporting Group, Social Justice Center, GCRT, Tbilisi Pride

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


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