PM Slams Venice Commission Critical Opinion on Agents Law as “Faltering”

During his late night interview with the Georgian Public Broadcaster on May 22, Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Kobakhidze reacted to the Venice Commission’s urgent opinion on the Foreign Agents Law, calling it “faltering” and accusing the Commission of “having rejected the professional dignity.”

During the interview, the Prime Minister defended the controversial bill and reiterated his accusations towards the Georgian President, the opposition, civil society and the Western partners for their alleged role in closing the space for “healthy discussions” around the law. PM Kobakhidze labeled the opposition’s stance on the bill as a “fight against transparency.”

Prime Minister Kobakhidze claimed that the Commission’s opinion is “full of absurd notes” and “lies” and lacks legal discussion. “But in the end, the public does not look at what the Venice Commission said, but where the truth lies, and this is one of the serious achievements we have had in these 2-3 years.” In this context, he argued that Georgia now is “as sovereign as never before” with its people cherishing the country’s independence more and more. He also claimed that the Venice Commission reiterates the ideas of “certain” NGOs.

Among other things, during the interview the Georgian Prime Minister once again talked about the conspiracies of “two revolutionary attempts” in the past, and also called the Georgian Dream’s opponents a “collective United National Movement” that is ruled with “one hand”, seeing the Georgian Dream’s duty to expose this “truth” to the public.

During the interview, among other issues, PM Kobakhidze talked about the past experiences with transparency, also in the context of the 2020 Parliamentary elections. “Opaqueness tempted both the organization and the donor to falsify the results of the parallel count, however, as soon as we made the information transparent to the public about the donors, including USIAD and NDI, they immediately had to back down. And finally, the main purpose of parallel computing, which was to cause the snap elections, could not be achieved.”

During the interview, the PM reiterated his rhetoric about the “Global War Party,” and in this context emphasized the importance of the “de-oligarchization of the United States and the EU”, which he believe have to be freed from “those influences.” However, he stressed that he is not calling Georgia’s partners, namely the EU and the US “the Global War Party.”

“We have a very clear position. We want integration into the European Union, closer cooperation with the United States of America, but unfortunately we see opposite processes from the other side, precisely because of the influences that exist on both actors. There is no alternative to the fight against the “Global War Party”. This is a very painful, difficult struggle, also from a personal point of view,” PM said.

In this context, Prime Minister Kobakhidze also reacted to the information disseminated by media about the alleged possession by the United States of the information that could damage the Georgian ruling party’s reputation, saying “No such information can exist, because we act absolutely purely to protect national interests, and the only thing that drives us are is the national interests of our country.” In this context, he said the “Global War Party” must be scared of the dissemination of the information about their “involvement” in Georgia during the “painful processes.”

He also claimed that the “transparency” will make attacks on the church and the “LGBT propaganda” with foreign funding difficult, and will expose organizations who, the Prime Minister believes, are engaged in such activities. Defending the bill, he also accused “certain” NGOs of hindering the country’s strategic goals such as ensuring energy independence, and argued that the law will largely solve this issue.

As for the other issues, he also talked about the education policy in Georgia, accusing the former UNM government of collapse in this field, and said that the system needs “substantial” changes. In this regard, he said that “even more serious problems have been created in higher education systems. If we take TSU [Tbilisi State University], where I also teach, we have the worst overall picture. One factor is that a large number of professors are selected solely on political grounds. This means that they have a political bias, it’s clear whose side they’re on, and they don’t have enough qualifications”. He promised reforms and said he expects that these reforms will face resistance similar to the Foreign Agents Law…

This article was updated on 23/05/2024 at 11:57

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


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