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The Statement by the President of Georgia

 

Today I have taken a decision to veto the Law on Electronic Communications. This decision has several causes: the first is the consensus and a very firmly established position of our society about the issue. We should move onto a contemporary, democratic manner of intelligence service operation.

I was born in the Soviet Union, where we all knew that the KGB was listening to us; afterwards, we lived in post-Soviet Georgia, where Saakashvili’s  regime turned this practice into a symbol of the state strengthening and we all brought a verdict to this regime. It means that two years later, the law should be based on the position about which the whole community has consensus.

I welcome the intensive engagement of the civil society in this issue. We know that from 2012 the work on this law was launched. I welcome the adoption of the law, which was approved in August, however, lots of details have remained unregulated and were postponed for today. This process was followed by further postponement of the topics, which were due to be discussed on November 1st.

Unfortunately, this is not the first case in our new parliament. I believe that this trend should be more reasonable, the laws, on which in our society, as well as, I believe in our political elite, there is a full consensus, should be adopted quickly. Therefore, the laws related to democracy, human rights and their protection, should be approved in shortest terms.

So, I call on the parliament to approve this law as soon as possible and do the main thing – restore confidence between the executive structures of the state and the society. Any problem, including criminal issues, can be solved by maximum involvement and confidence of the society. We should take steps in this direction and once again engage the society in the intensive dialogue. This will lead us to the solution of all the problems we are talking about right now. The confidence must be restored and this process must be started by politicians. Therefore, with this argument, I veto the Law on Electronic Communications and I hope that the parliament will share my position.

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