PM Irakli Garibashvili said on November 28 that passing of the government-backed surveillance regulation bill was “the right” decision for the state.
“I want to welcome the right, reasonable decision – the right decision for the state – taken by the majority in the Parliament. I think that it was the optimal option,” Garibashvili said at a government session on Friday morning.
“I hope that a full stop will be put at this issue once and for all,” Garibashvili added.
Parliament passed on November 27 with its first reading a controversial package of government-backed bills on surveillance regulation and voted down a separate, competing bill, which was tabled by the Republican Party, a member of the Georgian Dream ruling coalition.
The bill allows the Interior Ministry to retain its direct access to telecom operators’ networks – something that is opposed by GD member Republican Party; opposition lawmakers from Free Democrats and UNM, as well as a group of human rights and civil society organizations, which has long been campaigning for reining in security agencies’ direct, unfettered access to telecom operators’ networks.
Hearings of the bill with its second and third reading are planned for Friday as the Parliament has to adopt regulations before December 1.