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No Apology: Georgian Lawmaker Slaps Male Colleague Over Morality Remark

The incident occurred at a Georgian parliamentary committee meeting on September 26.
The incident occurred at a Georgian parliamentary committee meeting on September 26.

TBILISI -- A meeting of Georgia's Legal Issues Committee turned into chaos after a female lawmaker meted out her own justice, slapping a colleague in the face after he made comments she found insulting.

Eka Beselia said she took matters into her own hands during the September 26 session after Vano Zardiashvili made a comment about her morality in the wake of the release in January of a video of her personal life, apparently taken without her knowledge.

Beselia, one of the few female members of the traditionally male-dominated politics of Georgia, told journalists immediately after the incident that she would "not apologize to anyone" for her actions, adding that the ruling Georgian Dream party and its leader, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, were responsible for what she called a "provocation" staged by Zardiashvili on purpose.

"There is a line I will not allow anyone to cross...He will receive the same answer every time when he says something like that," Beselia, a former member of the party, said.

"He got what he deserved."

Zardiashvili disputed Beselia's accusation saying that he did not mean to insult his colleague when he said "my morality is not the same as Beselia's," during a debate over a judicial candidate.

"As for Ms. Eka Beselia, I have not insulted her. She is constantly trying to establish herself in the political process," he said in explaining his comments.

Eka Beselia (file photo)
Eka Beselia (file photo)

Once a leading member of Georgian Dream, Beselia left the party earlier in spring along with almost a dozen other lawmakers after she was dismissed from her post as the parliamentary committee's chairwoman.

Beselia left the ruling party and has accused it of organizing the recordings and spreading the videos online.

A group of activists have said they plan to picket the parliament building on September 27 to express their support for Beselia.