TBILISI, DFWatch – The Georgian president has signed the law about political associations of citizens, which imposes restrictions on campaign financing.

The amendment includes restrospective powers, which are prohibited by international conventions and the Georgian constitution.

This means that the law has come into force and political parties which have received financing which until now was entirely legal must return the money to the donor or transfer it to the state within three days.

Parliament approved the law about political associations of citizens on December 28 and the president signed it the same day, despite the fact that many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) protested against it, asking the president not to sign this law, because it contains unconstitutional regulations that are also in violation of international law.

Political parties and independent organizations fall under the law’s retrospective definition when they are directly or in-directly related to political associations which have received financing via violating the law regulation and haven’t spent the money before this law comes into force. They must return the money to the one who granted it within three calendar days from the law coming into force.

Accordingly, these parties will have to return the money before December 31. Otherwise, the money will become the property of the state.