Shalva Papuashvili, the speaker of Georgia’s parliament, said Thursday that disclosures made by U.S.-based firms to the country’s Justice Ministry under the Foreign Agents Registration Act “shed light on the extent of political corruption against Georgia” by lobbyists it hired The imprisoned former President Mikhail Saakashvili and groups associated with him had.
The comment follows US law firm Akerman’s disclosure in July that documents revealed that the firm was involved in drafting a draft resolution for the European Parliament that was critical of the Georgian government over Saakashvili’s detention . It showed how the organization prepared articles about Saakashvili’s health for international media and lobbied US senators and British officials for sanctions against Georgia over his alleged treatment in detention.
A February disclosure from the same company revealed that it had received $917,177 from Saakashvili’s family to lobby U.S. government officials for the former official’s release.
Papuashvili stressed the “seriousness of the situation” and claimed that “political corruption” was taking place in efforts to address issues related to Saakashvili, the opposition United National Movement party founded by him and Bidzina Ivanishvili, founder of the ruling Georgian Dream party. present Prime Minister and “Georgia in general”.
[N]“Not only were the articles published in the media, but we now have direct confirmation from the FARA reports that these articles were in fact commissioned,” he claimed.
Papuashvili referred to the alleged manipulation of EP resolutions and claimed that the result of the lobbyists’ work was “obvious, since they wrote the resolution texts directly for some MPs.” The European Parliament adopted these texts and, in effect, the misinformation spread by lobbyists supports.”
The parliamentary official pointed to the lobbyists’ alleged communications with “representatives of various embassies” in Georgia, claiming the effort was “typical political corruption” and citing an “unfortunate challenge” within EU structures.
Unfortunately, this issue remains opaque in the EU area, but thanks to US legislation, we occasionally receive such important information,” he noted, saying subsequent disclosures could provide more information about the “anti-state” activities.
Reacting to a march planned by a section of domestic non-governmental organizations for December 9 to “demonstrate public unity” ahead of the European Council’s decision on whether to grant Tbilisi EU candidate status, the official blamed “elite NGOs” of acting against the result.
He noted that the planned action would likely include “purchasing flags and whistles and consuming coffee, while organizers would simultaneously present a PowerPoint presentation expressing their love for Europe and Georgia.” He claimed that the measures ultimately amounted to “undermining national interests”, “wasting foreign grants” and contributing to a “negative perception” of Georgia’s use of international funds.
He alleged that unspecified NGOs took actions to obstruct the election of the county’s new public defender earlier this year, delaying the fulfillment of one of the twelve conditions for Georgia’s EU candidacy, inflaming tensions against the government to replace and protest the election The bloc is granting Tbilisi the status until Saakashvili is transferred from domestic detention to treatment abroad.
Speaking about next year’s general election, the official claimed the majority of domestic opposition groups were “aligned” with the UNM, before saying the vote was a choice between “national interests” represented by the current ruling power , and would represent an “anti-state”. [opposition] Coalition”.