Governmental Guarantee
08 March, 2012
Governmental Guarantee

International organizations will not be disturbed but fate of non-governmental organizations is unclear

The statement about international organizations was made by Parliamentary Chair Davit Bakradze. He pointed out that a special article would be inserted in the law. In his opinion, no more question should be asked in this regard. 

 

The NGO sector and experts demanded re-doing of the law after the Authorities changed the law in the manner to subject political parties to a number of prohibitions and restrictions. Namely, now

the new version of the law also applies to those persons who are directly or  indirectly related to political parties. Experts also talk about another associated problem. They say that there is no definition to tell if a person relates to a party. Accordingly, they fear that these norms of the law allow for a long array of interpretations and may weigh really hard on the public.

Non-governmental organizations which work with political parties say that they too will be tagged as “related persons” and prohibited from receiving any more funds from donors should they continue to work in the same way. The main sources of funds for international organizations and Georgian NGOs are foreign grants and donors. This is why non-governmental and media organizations demand re-doing the law. They even submitted their version of the draft law to the Parliament. Together with this legislative initiative, they also delivered a petition with over 200 signatures.

Regarding the NGOs, Bakradze noted that the law will accommodate a similar article about NGOs to dispel all the fears. However, apart from this ambiguous statement of Bakradze, NGOs without an international status but identical work activities seem to be in limbo about their future.

Experts suppose that the expected amendment may re-shape the sub-Article 26 and the definition of “the related person”. Some of them claim that sanctions and restrictions may be imposed only on those who disburse money. In this way, mere sympathies to particular parties will not be subjected to penalties.

It turns out that a certain agreement has been reached about property arrests too. Namely, such drastic measures would not be allowed without court permission. It is noteworthy that earlier this power had been given to the Chamber of Control.

“It is bad if somebody sees it as a concession. We can put it in a simple way. The purpose of the law remains same. All the parties are required to make their finances transparent. Any legal person which is not formed as a political party is prohibited to engage in political activities. Therefore, I don’t see any problem if something within the given purpose can be further refined,” – says Pavle Kublashvili, a Majority MP.

 

 

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