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"It Concerns You" to hold press conference, meeting with Parliament

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, February 28
Members of Georgia's civil society, united under the "It Concerns You" banner, continue to protest the recent changes to the law on political unions, with growing support from opposition parties in Parliament.

The Christian Democrat party, which presented Parliament with a package of changes two weeks before the "It Concerns You" movement began, recalled their proposal and expressed readiness to support the group's plan.

Representatives of the campaign introduced their own package of amendments to Parliament ten days ago, and intend to hold a press conference with details of their proposal by the end of the week.

On March 2, a roundtable will be held at the Sheraton Metekhi Palace, where both the restrictions imposed by the law and the movement's counter-proposal will be discussed.

Representatives of the diplomatic corps, international organizations, government, parliamentary and non-parliamentary political parties, NGOs, and media outlets are invited.

"It Concerns You" also intends to meet with representatives from the parliamentary majority, who have mentioned that they are ready to discuss the law with the group, listen to their proposal, and answer their questions. Noting that the "question marks" in the law must be removed, Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakradze has emphasized that the goal of the law was never to restrict civil society. "It is important that political goals be adequately matched to legal formulations," he affirmed.

The head of the parliamentary legal committee, Pavle Kublashvili, also confirmed that Parliament is ready to discuss the law with concerned citizens.

A meeting is scheduled to be held in Parliament on Thursday.

Analyst Malkhaz Chemia told The Messenger that the law as it stands is discriminatory towards civil society organizations, media outlets, and politically-involved citizens. "I had mentioned that the law was like that and civil society must protest it and the protest has been launched, Chemis remarked, noting that he believes such a broad coalition involved in the process of law-making will force the government to concede.