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Georgian parliament approves foreign agents bill in third reading

According to the procedure, the bill will be submitted to President Salome Zourabichvili, who has already vowed to veto it

TBILISI, May 14. /TASS/. Georgia’s parliament approved the foreign agents bill in the third and final reading at a plenary session.

The session was aired live on the parliament’s website.

"84 for and 30 opposed. The (foreign agents - TASS) bill has been approved," Speaker of the Georgian parliament Shalva Papuashvili said.

According to the procedure, the bill will be submitted to President Salome Zourabichvili to sign. She has already vowed to veto it. Then Georgia’s ruling party Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia will have to launch a procedure on overcoming veto.

Foreign agents bill

On May 1, Georgia’s parliament passed the second reading of the bill "On the Transparency of Foreign Influence," which had been opposed by Zourabichvili, the opposition and Western diplomats, who see it as an obstacle to Georgia’s integration into the European Union. Opposition members and civil activists have been holding protest rallies in front of the parliament building in the country’s capital of Tbilisi since April 15.

In early April, the ruling Georgian Dream party announced its decision to reintroduce the bill a year after the initiative was quashed following mass protests. The bill is almost identical to last year’s, with one exception: the term "agent of foreign influence" has been replaced with "organization pursuing foreign interests." The initiative keeps causing protests in Tbilisi, which escalate into clashes with law enforcement officers.