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Watchdog Groups Plan Campaign Against Amended Law on Parties

Several election watchdog and legal advocacy groups said they plan to step up efforts to convince lawmakers to revise highly controversial legislative amendments to the law on political parties passed late last month.

“Due to the ambiguity of the law, the risk of inconsistent and selective application [of the law] is high,” International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), Transparency International Georgia said in a joint statement on January 27.

The groups say, that the legislative amendment, which tightens party funding rules and also applies restrictions set for parties to organizations or individuals “directly or indirectly” linked with political parties, “will have a restrictive effect on civil-political activities.”

“In compliance with the law, the definition of natural and legal entities related to a party is rather extensive, allowing for the establishment of a relationship between a party and a citizen/legal entity in almost any individual case. Furthermore, the ambiguous and extensive nature of norms, make selective and subjective enforcement of the law inevitable,” the watchdog groups said in the statement.

“We will continue working with lawmakers to address the shortcomings in the law. In order to inform the public, we will plan meetings with local and international organisations, diplomatic representatives, and other interested parties. In addition, we plan to take part in a large-scale public awareness campaign with other representatives of civil society and the media, to be launched by the end of the month,” the groups said.


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