The Veiled Influence of Illiberal Groups on Georgian Politics

The Far-Rights Impact on Legislative Changes

In October 2020, the Georgian March began collecting signatures for their new proposal on the restoration of the ethnicity marker on the ID cards. According to them, the proposal is to be processed by The Procedural Committee of the Parliament of Georgia and unanimously accepted for the further procedures. Their argument, that they, “voice the will of Georgians” is often used to legitimize their illiberal actions.

Using the similar legitimizing language, one prominent example of the changes these groups have been able to achieve over the past years is the amendment to Article 30 – “Rights to Marriage,” which specifies the family as a union of man and woman. The amendment was lobbied for by the founding members of Georgian March and other far-right movements and individuals. The same group later demanded complete and unconditional prohibition on the sale of Georgian land to foreign citizens in the name of, “the Georgian people.” While parliament did not confirm a complete prohibition, it still specified a need for land to have a special status within Article 19—Rights to Property in order to be sold. The Alliance of Patriots of Georgia (APG), as a parliamentary party, supported this proposal establishing a precedent for increasingly coercive political appeals and strengthening the confidence of these actors.

It is noteworthy that these groups, especially Georgian March, mark such developments proudly in their legitimization and attempt to further penetrate the Georgian political scene. After the three years of acting as a social movement it has transformed into a political party, “Georgian March-National Movement”. Even though the party did not collect a considerable number of electoral votes in their first elections, its organizational form and influence on political agenda in the country remains fluid. It is worth remembering that APG managed to achieve electoral success in 2016 only after three years of public activity.

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