Georgian Dream announces draft law against ‘pseudo-liberal ideology’

“Georgian Dream” is in the process of drafting legislation aimed at safeguarding society from what Mamuka Mdinaradze, the leader of the parliamentary majority, describes as “pseudo-liberal ideology” and its detrimental effects. Mdinaradze made this announcement during a press briefing on February 29.

Mdinaradze defines “pseudo-liberal ideology” as the advocacy for “non-traditional orientations” and the adoption of gender-neutral language, such as the terms “parent 1, parent 2,” among others. In May 2023, he had previously stated that “Otsneba” would oppose any legislation intended to prohibit “LGBT propaganda.”

He referenced “international opinion polls” to support his claims regarding the negative impacts of such ideology, stating that these studies show an increase in the number of young people aged 18-25 identifying with “non-traditional orientations” in countries where such “propaganda” exists, with figures reaching 20% or more.

Mdinaradze assured that the upcoming legislation, which is expected to be prepared within the next two weeks, will respect human rights and avoid imposing censorship. Nevertheless, he emphasized that “obvious propaganda should be banned.”

 

President Zurabishvili’s interview with BBC: About Russian threats, Saakashvili and Russian naval port in Abkhazia

In an interview with BBC’s HARDtalk, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili discussed various issues, including Russian threats, the situation with Mikheil Saakashvili, and the potential construction of a Russian port in occupied Abkhazia.

President Zurabishvili expressed her view on the Russian aggression, stating, “We should all be concerned if Putin succeeds in Ukraine. However, I do not believe he will be successful. He has not been defeated militarily, but he is certainly not a victor.” This reflects her stance on the broader implications of Russian actions in the region.

Regarding Mikheil Saakashvili, the former President of Georgia, Zurabishvili did not directly address the question of his pardon but discussed the possibility of extradition, avoiding a direct answer to the question about Saakashvili’s legal situation.

When questioned about the potential involvement of Georgia in the war due to the construction of a Russian port in the territory of occupied Abkhazia, President Zurabishvili acknowledged the possibility, highlighting Russia’s history of aggression towards Georgia. “Russia has invaded Georgia at least three times and continues to occupy our territories. This occupation involves Russian military bases on our soil. Russia aims to destabilize through hybrid warfare tactics, including propaganda, as part of its imperial ambitions. However, we must focus on our own interests rather than what Russia wants,” she stated.

On the topic of the upcoming elections and the imprisonment of the third president of Georgia, Zurabishvili asserted that “free and fair elections are not influenced by Saakashvili’s location. Saakashvili, who is currently serving a sentence for actual crimes, is not considered a political opponent in prison.”

President Zurabishvili’s trip to Great Britain included her attendance at an event organized by the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House. Prior to this event, she highlighted in an interview with Sky News the significance of the upcoming elections in October for Georgia, and the potential for Russian interference, drawing on the experiences of other countries facing similar challenges.

 

Minister of Health, Labour and Social Affairs of Georgia resigns

Zurab Azarashvili, the Minister of IDPs from the Occupied Territories of Georgia, Labor, Health, and Social Protection, has resigned from his position.

The resignation followed a conversation with Georgia’s Prime Minister, Irakli Kobakhidze. The government administration announced that the Prime Minister would nominate a new Minister of Health in the coming days.

Prime Minister Kobakhidze cited communication issues as the primary reason for Azarashvili’s departure. He highlighted management communication problems within the healthcare sector, particularly using the “Republican Hospital” situation as an example of these issues. Kobakhidze expressed his initial reluctance to change the Minister of Health but acknowledged the necessity of addressing these flaws for the betterment of the healthcare system. He emphasized the importance of listening to and considering different arguments within the medical community.

This decision comes after Kobakhidze’s reversal of a previous decision made by the former Prime Minister and Minister of Health regarding the demolition of the “Republican Hospital” on February 24.

 

Papuashvili: The EU should distance itself from slanderous statements of MEPs

Shalva Papuashvili, the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, has publicly urged the European Union (EU) to distance itself from what he terms “slanderous statements” made by European parliamentarians, specifically in reference to an amendment proposed by Polish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Anna Fotiga. This amendment to a resolution of the European Parliament called for the President of Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili, to pardon Mikheil Saakashvili, the former President of Georgia. Papuashvili highlighted that a similar request was made by the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Radoslaw Sikorski, at the Munich Security Conference.

Papuashvili argued that such requests and statements create a misunderstanding and cognitive dissonance between the Georgian populace and the actions of their “foreign patrons,” potentially jeopardizing the country’s foreign relations. He emphasized that the majority of Georgians have a negative view of Saakashvili and his international supporters, contrasting sharply with the image some Western politicians attempt to promote of Saakashvili as a democratizer and institution builder who played a significant role in repelling the Russian invasion in 2008.

The Speaker’s remarks underscore a significant divide between the perceptions held by certain segments of the international community and the prevailing sentiments within Georgia itself. He calls for the EU to officially clarify its stance and differentiate itself from the statements made by individual European parliamentarians.

This development followed the European Parliament’s adoption of two reports on February 28 that expressed support for Georgia, with one amendment specifically urging President Zurabishvili to pardon Mikheil Saakashvili. The amendment was introduced by Anna Fotyga, the Polish MEP and Secretary General of the Group of European Conservatives and Reforms.

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