Headline RoundupApril 16th, 2024

Georgian Parliament Revives ‘Kremlin-Style’ Foreign Agent Bill, Stoking Protests and Lawmaker Brawl

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The Republic of Georgia saw large protests and a brawl between lawmakers on Monday after its parliament revived a “foreign agent” bill that critics say is reminiscent of Russian law.

The Details: The draft, proposed by the ruling Georgian Dream Party, is effectively identical to the foreign agent bill the nation’s legislature considered in March 2023, before domestic protests and pushback from the European Union caused lawmakers to step back. If passed, news media and non-commercial organizations that receive more than 20% of funding from abroad would have to register as “agents of foreign influence.”

Political Discord: Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze of Georgian Dream said the law is needed to increase transparency and met with American, British, and EU ambassadors to discuss the bill. Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili, an independent, has long opposed the law and would veto it; however, her presidential term ends this year, and recent changes to Georgia’s constitution make her re-election unlikely. The bill caused large protests and a fight between lawmakers in 2023 as well.

European Future At Risk?: Critics have compared the law to Russia’s foreign agent law, but Georgian Dream previously compared it to the American Foreign Agents Registration Act. Nonetheless, its passage would hinder Georgia’s chances of joining the EU, which granted it candidate status last year.

How The Media Covered It: Across the American media spectrum, several outlets framed coverage around the brawl that broke out on parliament’s floor when an opposition politician assaulted a top Georgian Dream lawmaker as he was speaking.

Featured Coverage of this Story

More headline roundups

More News about World from the Left, Center and Right

From the Left

From the Center

From the Right