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Georgia Parliament Officially Drops Foreign Agents Bill After Mass Protests


The Georgian parliament has officially dropped the controversial 'foreign agents' bill following mass protests. The news that the legislature would not proceed with the bill was widely speculated on 9 March, but has now been officially set aside in parliament. Despite the dropping of the bill and the release of protesters arrested on 8/9 March, demonstrations against the gov't of PM Irakli Garabashvili continue in the capital Tbilisi.

  • Dropping the legislation will come as good news for the EU and US, which have seen Georgia as future candidate for NATO membership for a number of years (although progress on the front had been slow).
  • The implementation of the 'foreign agents' law was seen as similar to that imposed by the Kremlin in Russia in 2012, raising concerns among the generally anti-Russian citizenry and western nations that the Georgian gov't could be shifting towards a more authoritarian, anti-west mode of governance.
  • The law would have seen media outlets/NGOs receiving 20%+ of their revenue from abroad forced to register as 'foreign agents' subject to enhanced scrutiny and vulnerable to fines.

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