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PM Vows to Adopt Foreign Agents Law, Pledges to Punish Violent Protesters

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze promised to pass the foreign agents law on Tuesday in its third reading, pledging to punish violent protesters in a press briefing on May 12.

Citing “sociological studies,” Kobakhidze said that over 80 percent of Georgians “support transparency of non-governmental organizations,” while over 60 percent favor the “transparency of foreign influence” law.

The Prime Minister claimed he had “precise information” that “violent youth groups organized by the radical opposition and financed from abroad are planning violent actions against the Georgian Parliament and police” in the next two days, and vowed to hold any perpetrator accountable.

“In all likelihood, [the perpetrators] can’t be pardoned by [President] Salome Zurabishvili either,” Kobakhidze warned.

The Prime Minister thanked Georgian police for handling recent protests against the foreign agents law with “higher standards” than in the U.S. or Europe, except for “a few isolated incidents.”

“The harsh forms that are normal for American and French police should not be acceptable for Georgian law enforcers,” Kobakhidze said.

Kobakhidze also reiterated his openness to discussing the law with “foreign partners,” noting that he had discussed the issue with the European Union and the OSCE. Earlier, the Prime Minister said the ruling party was ready to amend the controversial law if it received “legal comments from partners” within the presidential veto procedure.

Who’s the ‘Global War Party’?

The Prime Minister was also asked to say whom the leaders of the Georgian Dream have in mind when they talk about the “Global War Party” conspiracy.

“We’re not talking about any country,” the Prime Minister said, adding that they don’t have “the EU or the United States” in mind. “On the contrary, the EU is one of the main victims of these forces,” Kobakhidze continued, citing the course of the EU economy. “The EU economy was 16.3 trillion 16 years ago, and now it is 17.3 trillion. This means – and this is happening against the background of inflation – this means that the EU economy has qualitatively regressed in these 16 years, while in the 5-6 years before it had experienced double growth.”

“So the EU is the main victim of these forces,” Kobakhidze concluded. “Who these forces are – many know this <…> we cannot say it. This is such a sensitive issue that discussing it in public could create a problem for our national security.”

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