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The Daily Beat: 4 June

On June 4, Speaker Shalva Papuashvili signed into law the highly controversial amendments to the country’s Tax Code, the so-called “Offshore Law,” making it easier to bring offshore assets to Georgia. The expected move came after President Salome Zurabishvili vetoed the bill, which the Parliament overruled.

Speaker Shalva Papuashvili announced that the ruling Georgian Dream party is registering the homophobic package of laws on the “Protection of Family Values and Minors”. According to him, the legislative package includes wide-ranging bans on LGBT people, including alternative forms of marriage, adoption of a child, gatherings, and demonstrations, gender reassignment surgery, and the dissemination and broadcast of such information that is “aimed at promoting belonging to the opposite sex, same-sex relations or incest.

In a report due to be presented to the Parliament on June 28, Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze describes the efforts to fulfill the government’s program from June 2023 to May 2024, covering Georgia’s foreign and security policy, conflict resolution and human rights, economic development and social development and human capital, and state governance. Striking the generally self-congratulatory tone, it omits the criticisms and shortfalls identified by the opposition, analysts, and international partners.

At the request of the Georgian Dream vice-speaker Nino Tsilosani, already a second journalist from the opposition-leaning Formula TV Sopho Gozalishvili has been banned from entering the legislative building for six months. MP Tsilosani demanded her accreditations be suspended after the journalist approached her even though she refused to answer her questions. A day earlier, a similar incident occurred when another journalist, Nini Balanchivadze of another opposition-leaning Mtavari TV, was banned from working in the parliament for one month.

On June 4, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution reiterating the right of return of all displaced persons and refugees to Georgia’s Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia by a vote of 103 in favor, 9 against, and 52 abstentions. The number of votes in favor of the resolution increased from 100 to 103 countries compared to last year.

United States Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission) held a congressional hearing on the situation in Georgia, including the impact of the Kremlin-style foreign agents’ law, the shift in the country’s foreign policy, possible imposition of sanctions on GD officials and the importance of the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The United Kingdom has appointed Gareth Ward as His Majesty’s new Ambassador to Georgia, replacing Ambassador Mark Clayton. Ambassador Ward will take up his new post in August. Gareth Ward joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCDO) in 1996. He was the British Ambassador to Vietnam from August 2018 to July 2022.

Foreign Ministry confirmed to on June 3 that another Georgian fighter, Khvicha Gvirjishvili, was killed while fighting in Ukraine. Reportedly, Gvirjishvili was fighting in the vicinity of the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. This latest casualty brings the unofficial death toll of Georgian citizens who have died fighting in Ukraine since the Russian invasion to 51.


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