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

TBILISI, Georgia — Georgia’s president on Saturday vetoed the so-called “Russian law” targeting media that has sparked weeks of mass protests.

The law would require media and nongovernmental organizations to register as “pursuing the interests of a foreign power” if they receive more than 20% of their funding from abroad. Critics of the bill say that 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 Saturday that the law contradicts Georgia’s constitution and “all European standards” and added that it “must be abolished.”

The ruling party, Georgian Dream, has a majority sufficient to override 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. 

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