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Georgia passes "foreign agents" bill: Lawmakers brawl, protesters clash at parliament

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Georgian lawmakers passed the third and final reading of the country’s “foreign agents” bill on Tuesday, prompting physical scuffles in parliament. Despite heavy parliamentary opposition and nationwide protests against the legislation, it passed with 84 out of 150 members voting in favour.

The bill requires organizations receiving more than 20 per cent of their funding from abroad to register as foreign agents or, alternatively, face fines.

Tuesday’s result puts the legislation one step closer to becoming law, triggering protesters to clash with police outside of parliament in Tbilisi.

“We don't have much to lose,” student protester Keti Marchavariani said outside of Georgian Parliament on Tuesday. “So, the protests are still going to happen and we're still going to stand here until the government hears our voice. Or we're going to overthrow them,” she added with a chuckle.

Though Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili has the final say and promised to veto the draft, her decision can be overruled by another vote in parliament, controlled by the ruling party and its allies.

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global news, Salome Zourabichvili, Zourabichvili
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