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Georgia’s president vetoes media law that has provoked weeks of protests

The ruling party, Georgian Dream, is widely expected to override the veto in the coming days.
The ruling party, Georgian Dream, is widely expected to override the veto in the coming days.

Georgia’s president has vetoed the so-called “Russian law” targeting media that has sparked weeks of mass protests in the country.

The law would require media and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to register as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they receive more than 20 per cent of their funding from abroad.

Critics of the bill say it closely resembles legislation used by the Kremlin to silence opponents, and that it will obstruct Georgia’s bid to join the EU.

President Salome Zourabichvili, who is increasingly at odds with Georgia’s ruling party, said on Saturday that the law contradicts Georgia’s constitution and “all European standards”, and added that it “must be abolished”.

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The ruling party, Georgian Dream, has a majority sufficient to override Ms Zourabichvili’s veto, and is widely expected to do so in the coming days.

The Georgian government insists that the law is intended to promote transparency and curb what it deems harmful foreign influence in the country of 3.7 million.

Associated Press