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Reactions to President’s Veto of Foreign Agents Law

On May 18, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili vetoed the foreign agents law. Zurabishvili’s move came earlier than expected and before the president’s two-week veto deadline. Although she was expected to sent the “motivated objections” to the Parliament along with the veto, she had said that she was not going to “play games” with the GD and that the law has to to be withdrawn altogether.

We have compiled some international and domestic reactions to the President’s veto:

International Reactions

Nus Ghani, UK Minister of State for Europe, May 19, 2024: “UK supports President Zurabishvili’s veto of Georgia’s foreign influence legislation. The law is contrary to the Georgian people’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations. I urge the Georgian parliament to heed their allies’ concerns and not overturn the veto and withdraw this legislation.”

Charles Michel, President of the European Council: “Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili’s veto of the transparency law offers a moment for further reflection. In its current form – the law is not in line with EU values and path. I call on all politicians and leaders in Georgia to make good use of this window of opportunity and ensure Georgia stays on the European course the population supports. I continue closely monitoring developments in Georgia.”

Gabrielius Landsbergis, FM of Lithuania: “President Salome Zurabishvili’s veto shows the way out of the storm. Georgia can reject this law and choose Europe.”

Thijs Reuten, MEP: “Now the Parliament of Georgia has one final chance to do the right thing. It should repeal the law in its entirety. I have asked the EU High Representative to prepare sanctions against all MPs who vote to override the President’s veto.”

Margus Tsahkna, FM of Estonia: “Georgia’s President Salome Zurabishvili’s veto to foreign agents law offers a way forward. Estonia calls on Georgia’s leadership to withdraw the law and revert to Georgia’s EU course.”

Michael Roth, Chair of the Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee: “President Salome Zurabishvili vetoed the „foreign agent law“. Let’s take the chance, dear Georgian Government. It’s not too late to choose Europa instead of Russia.”

Domestic Reactions:

Ruling majority

Mamuka Mdinaradze, GD Parliamentary Majority Leader: “Many thanks to Salome Zurabishvili, who has finally confirmed that there are no objections and arguments against the Transparency Law (and the invention of a new kind of veto will be debated for a long time by several generations of lawyers). As for our constructive offer to her to include the foreign partners in the veto procedure, she responded with refusal and destruction. The Natsis’ [deragotary for UNM], rich NGOs’ and their supervisors’ fake project against transparency and sovereignty – “No to the Russian Law” – has failed.

Opposition

Nika Gvaramia, Ahali: “Zurabishvili has done a good job (if I am not mistaken, she used a blanket veto without any [motivated] objections). Georgian Dream will not be able to enter into any discussions, nor will it be able to drag society into a pseudo-process, nor will it be able to deceive the Europeans with a pseudo-correction of the law… Either cancel this law or take full responsibility – this is the essence of Zurabishvili’s veto, and it is a correct and wise decision”.

More to follow…

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

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