TBILISI, DFWatch – In Georgia, a vague new law is on its way to be clarified, as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) continue their negotiations with parliament’s judiciary committee to amend the law about political unions of citizens.
The concept of ‘related legal or individual person’ will be specified in the law. This is one the results of today’s meeting between Pavle Kublashvili, head the judiciary committee, and four NGOs which have authored a package of alternative legislative changes delivered to parliament on February 17.
Much of the recent controversy arose from the fact that the law applied rules meant for political parties also to something called ‘related person’, which was defined in an open-ended way which theoretically would see the entire population subject to tough campaign finance rules.
When the law on political unions of citizens was amended in in December 2011 it caused strong criticism among groups and commentators who said the changes pose a number of problems involving important democratic principles.
The two parties also agreed on the amount of sanctions in case of illegal money transfers; however the limit for allowed amount of donation for political parties remains the same, 500 000 lari. If it receives more, the party will have to return the money but there will not be any other sanctions.
There are still a number of issues needing to be improved in the law, NGO representatives told journalists, but they saw today’s meeting as a positive development as some improvements were achieved.
The New bill will be ready in a few days and will probably be initiated in parliament on February 21.