Gov’t allowed to impose coronavirus restrictions without parliament’s consent for entire year

76 MPs voted for the change in the date in the 150-member parliament earlier today. Photo: Interior Ministry press office., 14 Jul 2020 - 18:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian parliament has allowed the government earlier today to impose movement, labour, migration, economic and other restrictions without the declaration of a state of emergency, that is,  without the approval of the legislative body until the end of the year.  

A bill which was passed in May 2020 allowed the government to use the right only temporarily - until July 15, 2020, if there was the necessity taking the epidemiological situation into account. 

The government has not used the right so far (since passing the bill) as the country continues to maintain a low infection rate.

76 MPs voted for the change and two went against it, with the United National Movement and the European Georgia opposition parties refusing to vote at all.

The opposition says that the bill contradicts the state constitution and gives the government a lever ‘for political repressions and violation of human rights’ in the run-up to the elections in October. 

The ruling party states that the prolongation of the date was necessary as the country may face a second wave of the coronavirus in the autumn.

The government says that the change will help them act swiftly if there is a need for restrictions 'for the welfare and health of our people.'