Ruling party official: Georgian Dream “very grateful” to foreign partners but “disapproves of non-transparency”

The legislative body will vote on the piece on Tuesday. Photo: Georgian Dream Press Office, 13 May 2024 - 13:34, Tbilisi,Georgia

Mamuka Mdinaradze, the head of the ruling Georgian Dream party in the Parliament, on Monday said the party was “very grateful” to the country’s partners “for what they do for Georgia”, but added “we disapprove of what is non-transparent and hidden” in their actions.

“We talk to our partners, but we should not talk in a way that is too naïve behind closed doors. Everyone knows everything very well - we know their interests, they also know our interests. We thank them very much both behind the scenes and openly for what they do for our country, but we disapprove of what is non-transparent and hidden”, Mdinaradze said.

He also commented on the Interior Ministry statement that on Monday said law enforcement had detained 20 participants of the protest rally against the domestic bill on transparency of foreign influence in capital Tbilisi - including one Russian and two United States nationals.

Among the 20 arrested people, two are American nationals and one is Russian. One of the arrested refuses to reveal his identity [...] This is precisely the purpose the law on transparency serves and will serve”, he continued.

The ruling party official further claimed “nobody has come up with any real argument” for the bill being an example of a law enacted in Russia, in reference to claims by the domestic opposition and non-governmental organisations.

The Legal Affairs Committee of the Georgian Parliament on Monday approved the bill, which was reintroduced by the ruling Georgian Dream party against public protests, in its third hearing.

The draft law calls for registration of non-commercial legal entities and media outlets in the country as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they derive more than 20 percent of their funding from abroad.

The legislative body will vote on the piece on Tuesday.