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Government vs. the People in Georgia - Foreign Policy Research Institute

Government vs. the People in Georgia - Foreign Policy Research Institute
In April of this year the Georgian government submitted to parliament a controversial “foreign agents law," sparking massive anti-government demonstrations in

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Georgian Government's "Foreign Agents Law" Sparks Massive Protests

Massive anti-government demonstrations have erupted in Tbilisi after the Georgian government submitted a controversial "foreign agents law" to parliament. The law, which has been compared to Russia's foreign agents' law, has sparked public outrage and fears that Georgia is turning away from its European path and aligning with Russia. The law requires organizations receiving more than 20% of their funding from foreign sources to register as "agents of foreign influence." The ruling Georgian Dream party has voted in favor of the law, leading to widespread protests and clashes between protesters and police. The law has also raised concerns among Georgia's Western partners, who fear the country will follow a similar path to Russia. The president, who was previously directly elected, will now be appointed by the parliament, potentially consolidating the ruling party's power. The clash over the law has taken on an existential aura for both sides, with Georgia facing a choice between a robust, Western-oriented civil society or an authoritarian, anti-Western government. The law has been condemned by NATO, the EU, the Council of Europe, and many member states, who see it as a threat to Georgia's European future. The future of Georgia's Western aspirations hangs in the balance as the country grapples with its internal and external challenges.