About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
Opposition Parties Condemn Religious Groups' Legal Status Law
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 6 Jul.'11 / 16:34

Echoing the Georgian Orthodox Church’s position, most of the opposition parties slammed hasty approval of legislative amendment allowing religious minority groups to be registered as legal entities of public law.

Many opposition parties have called on President Saakashvili to use his constitutional right and veto the amendment, while others called for declaring the Orthodox Christianity “official religion” of Georgia.

Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD), opposition party led by Irakli Alasania, said the President should veto this discussion taken “behind the Patriarchate’s back.” OGFD also said that the issue required broad public discussion before being approved.

The New Rights Party, as well as some others also called for vetoing the amendment. The New Rights Party said in a statement that by hastily approving the proposal the authorities put themselves in confrontation with the Georgian Orthodox Church, “which, to say the least, does not contribute to creating atmosphere of civil accord.”

“This unjustified hasty approval [of the legislative amendment] will not help to solve the problem; on the contrary, it may cause irreparable damage such a fragile and important issue like peaceful co-existence of people of different confessions,” the New Rights Party said.

Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM), a leading party in a small parliamentary minority group, said hasty approval of such legislative amendment, without taking into consideration position of the Georgian Orthodox Church, “is a very dangerous step for the country.”

CDM, however, said it would be naive to demand from President Saakashvili to veto the amendment.

“We have no illusion that this decision was made without President Saakashvili’s blessing, so we are not asking him to veto this law; we are not so naive to ask him to do that,” MP Levan Vepkhvadze of CDM said on July 6.

MP Vepkhvadze said that CDM would instead push for upgrading the status of the Georgian Orthodox Church, which already enjoys with a special status through the 2002 concordat with the state, by declaring it “an official religion of Georgia.” He said that CDM was ready to launch collecting citizens’ signature for initiating relevant legal procedures required for constitutional amendment.

The opposition National Forum party said that hasty approval of the legislative amendment was yet another attempt by the authorities “to establish the policy of ignorance of the Patriarchate, because the authorities do not see role and place of the Georgian Orthodox Church under the ‘dream model of Singapore’.”
 
The Labor Party said that “an assembly of godless lawmakers approved one more anti-Orthodox and anti-state law with total ignorance of the Georgian Orthodox Church’s opinion.” It also said that the move aimed at “inciting ethnic and religious strife and to discredit the Georgian Orthodox Church.”

Latest News
01 May.'18 10:55
We Have Moved to a New Platform
Direct Your Bookmarks to https://civil.ge.
29 Apr.'18 03:54
Ruling Party Candidate Wins MP By-Elections
Givi Chichinadze will represent Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency in the Parliament of Georgia.
28 Apr.'18 09:40
Polls Open for Vani and Khoni MP By-Elections
48,123 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency.
27 Apr.'18 17:23
State Dept’s Europe Affairs Point Man to Visit Tbilisi
Wess Mitchell will meet senior government officials and address the NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum.
27 Apr.'18 13:45
In Quotes: Georgian Politicians on Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Comeback
Bidzina Ivanishvili will be approved as the Georgian Dream party chairman at the upcoming convention.
26 Apr.'18 18:15
SG Jens Stoltenberg: Georgia NATO’s ‘Very Close’ Partner
The NATO Secretary General says Foreign Ministers meeting tomorrow will recognize the country’s progress.
26 Apr.'18 14:24
Ex-PM Ivanishvili to Chair Georgian Dream Party
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Ivanishvili was ‘best equipped’ to add new dynamism to the party.
26 Apr.'18 11:12
Lawmaker Proposes Criminal Liability for ‘Insult of Religious Feelings’
The parliamentary human rights committee decided to set up a working group for scrutinizing the draft law.
25 Apr.'18 17:21
New Abkhaz Government Head Appointed
Gennady Gagulia has served as the Abkhaz “prime minister” twice - in 1995-1997, and 2002-2003.
25 Apr.'18 14:43
Watchdog Improves Georgia’s Press Freedom Ranking
None of the countries of the former Soviet Union (except the Baltics) are ranked ahead of Georgia.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2019, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
39