Georgia’s president said protesters could use the October election to “overturn” the foreign agent law

Georgia’s president said protesters could use the October election to “overturn” the foreign agent law

Georgia’s president has called on protesters to use their votes in the upcoming parliamentary elections to “reverse” the controversial foreign agent law passed by the country’s parliament on Tuesday.

President Salome Zourabichvili admitted to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that there was “a lot of concern” after parliament voted to back the controversial foreign agent law.

“The way and the place where we can turn all this around is the elections in October… And we have to use the mobilization of society and the unification of these political parties to go and win those elections,” Zourabichvili said.
The president, who has previously accused Russia of trying to increase its influence over the former Soviet nation, told CNN he would symbolically veto the legislation.

Due to Georgia’s parliamentary system, Zourabichvili holds a central role and his veto power can be overridden by a simple parliamentary majority.

He called the law a complete “duplicate” of the one passed by the Kremlin in 2012, which he said had been used to “repress and completely suppress civil society” in Russia.

Russia is getting “more worried” by Georgia’s approach to the European Union, Zourabichvili said, referring to the bloc’s recent decision to grant Georgia candidate status.

Although about 20% of Georgia’s territory is now controlled by Russia following the 2008 invasion, Georgia has not been “derailed” from “following its European path,” the president added.

“It has not stopped us an inch and it will not stop us from continuing,” he added.

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