Home Europe Georgian President Will Veto ‘Foreign Agents’ Bill, Says Report

Georgian President Will Veto ‘Foreign Agents’ Bill, Says Report

Georgia's President Salome Zourabichvili. Reuters File Photo

Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili says she will veto a draft law on the “foreign agents bill.” Russia’s state-run news agency TASS reported this on Saturday.

Zourabichvili had said previously that she would veto the bill.  Parliament can override her decision by a vote. Georgia’s ruling party and its allies control the parliament.

The draft bill says NGOs and media outlets receiving more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad must be registered as those reflecting the interests of a foreign power.

Fines for those who do not implement the bill can range upwards of $9,000.

The bill has sparked street protests.

Critics have likened the bill as similar to the one President Putin passed in 2012. They say it will stifle dissent and freedom of the press.

The protests against the bill have been going on for almost a month. This comes as Georgia bids for membership of the European Union.

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The US has come down heavily on the Georgian government for seeking to pass the “Kremlin-inspired” bill.

US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the actions of the Georgian government are incompatible with democratic values. They “jeopardize Georgia’s path to Euro-Atlantic integration.”

Georgia’s prime minister Irakli Kobakhidze said this rule was necessary to crack down on US-inspired revolutions.

Kobakhidze added he will pass the bill.