June 15th, 2024

Georgia’s parliament speaker says he has signed a divisive foreign influence bill into law

By The Associated Press on June 3, 2024.

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) – The speaker of Georgia’s parliamen said he gave the final endorsement on Monday to a divisive “foreign agents” bill that has prompted weeks of protests by critics who say it will restrict media freedom and jeopardize Georgia’s chances of joining the European Union.

Shalva Papuashvili announced that he signed the bill into law after the legislature, controlled by the ruling Georgian Dream party, dismissed the veto of President Salome Zourabichvili.

The bill, which was approved by Parliament last month, requires media, nongovernmental organizations and other nonprofit groups to register as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad.

Zourabichvili, who is increasingly at odds with the governing party, vetoed the bill, accusing the governing party of jeopardizing the country’s future and “hindering the path toward becoming a full member of the free and democratic world.”

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