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Georgia’s parliament overrides president’s veto on ‘foreign influence’ bill

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published May 28,2024
(AA Photo)

Georgia's parliament on Tuesday overrode President Salome Zourabichvili's veto of the "foreign influence" bill passed earlier this month.

During a plenary session in the country's capital Tbilisi, 66 lawmakers voted against Zourabichvili's veto, while none opposed, Georgia's public broadcaster reported.

A day earlier, the parliament's legal affairs committee rejected Zourabichvili's veto of the bill "On Transparency of Foreign Influence," which has been criticized by the EU and U.S.

On May 18, Zourabichvili declared that she vetoed the bill, days after it was adopted by a majority vote in the third and final reading by parliament.

The bill requires organizations, including media outlets, which receive more than 20% of their funding from overseas, to register with the state. It also requires them to publish annual financial reports.

The bill, which was first introduced in March 2023, was shelved after it triggered mass protests that resulted in the arrest of 66 people and the injury of more than 50 law enforcement officers but was reintroduced to parliament early last month, reigniting the protests.

Critics say the bill would undermine democracy, labeling it a "Russian law," but members of the ruling majority argue it would increase transparency.