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Embattled Georgian PM Apologizes For Profanity-Filled Rant (Caught On Video)

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili surprised many fellow parliamentarians when he launched into an expletive-filled diatribe during a debate in parliament on December 20.

A combative daylong committee hearing in parliament ahead of a possible confidence vote appeared to take its toll on Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, sparking his profanity-filled excoriation of an opposition lawmaker followed by a public apology.

Kvirikashvili apologized for losing his cool at the December 20 hearing but accused the deputy, the United National Movement's Niki Melia, of "starting the argument first" and "provoking" him.

The heated verbal confrontation between Kvirikashvili and Melia devolved quickly into finger-wagging and swearing that was caught on video.

It also drew the committee meeting to a close, as Kvirikashvili and his cabinet members left the proceedings.

Melia accused Kvirikashvili of being "unaware of the country's realities," and goes on to call him "dishonest" and "corrupt."

The prime minister could then be heard calling the lawmaker, in Georgian, a "bastard" and using the equivalent of the "F" word in English.

Kvirikashvili's government faces a parliamentary vote following a debate that began on December 21 in a reshuffled cabinet amid allegations of corruption.

The hearing that saw the expletive-filled rant kicked off with a tough question from another lawmaker, former Georgian National Security Council Secretary Giga Bokeria, who asked Kvirikashvili, "Why did you come here knowing that we don't support you?"

Bokeria went on to accuse Kvirikashvili's cabinet of ignoring requests to appear before parliament on previous occasions.

Kvirikashvili blamed the absences on ministers' busy schedules, adding, "We do respect [parliament] and we believe in the importance of dialogue with the opposition."

The tone of the meeting became increasingly tense with opposition lawmakers criticizing the prime minister's performance before the shouting match.

Melia said the prime minister should apologize for problems like the "struggling economy,...corruption, and grave social conditions."

With reporting by RFE/RL's Echo of the Caucasus
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    Farangis Najibullah

    Farangis Najibullah is a senior correspondent for RFE/RL who has reported on a wide range of topics from Central Asia, including the region’s ongoing struggle with the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact. She has extensively covered efforts by Central Asian states to repatriate their citizens who joined Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.