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Legalized patriotism2009-11-19 10:31
The Patriot's Act, which has long been the subject of passionate discussions of the Georgian politicians will, perhaps, be legalized despite the protest expressed by radical opposition in October when the topic of "legalizing patriotism" was touched upon. By the way, the document "concerning patriotism" was initiated in the parliament by another oppositionist from the parliamentary minority. Our correspondent has found out what Tbilisi thinks about passing such a "patriotic" document.
Just like the previous time, it was leader of the Democratic Party, Chairman of parliamentary fraction Powerful Georgia Gia Tortladze who was the initiator. His previous initiative was met by non-parliamentary opposition at dagger point, for it regarded not without reason that the government needs the Patriot's Act not to fight the terrorism but to enhance control over political opponents. That is why the current version of the act was to some extent "liberalized".
Tortladze himself stated during the presentation of his document that "the noise" around his initiative was "groundless", for the document did not imply any telephone conversations monitoring, searches without permission or control over one's electronic mail.
These items caused the greatest irritation of the oppositionists. For instance, in October, when the initiative on signing the Patriot's Act was revealed Secretary General of Movement for United Georgia Eka Beselia even held a press conference where she stated the following: "The adoption of the Patriot's Act would have been an anti-constitutional action that does not comply with the international law". According to leader of the Republican Party David Usupashvili, the adoption of the "patriotic" act will enable the authorities to act in a more uncontrolled way. He underlined that the law-enforcement authorities have already got rather broad powers that are not restricted by any law. Leader of the Christian-Democratic movement Levan Vepkhvadze also expressed an opinion that the act would be aimed against the opposition.
However, Tortladze was not discouraged by his colleagues' dissatisfaction. He is again appealing to the fact that the similar document is available in the United States. It was legalized after the large-scale act of terrorism on September 11, 2001. The document is based upon the anti-terroristic actions of the law-enforcement authorities. The same anti-terroristic overtone is attached to the "document concerning patriotism" in Georgia.