Punches Thrown Over Bill in Georgia Parliament

(RepublicanJournal.org) – There’s no denying that things can grow heated in political debates, especially when lawmakers on opposite sides don’t agree on a matter. Yet, it’s very rare that those arguments spiral out of control. However, in the country of Georgia, things descended into chaos after a parliament member (MP) punched an opposition lawmaker.

Fox News Digital obtained video footage of Mamuka Mdinaradze addressing the chamber when suddenly, out of nowhere, MP Aleko Elisashvili ran up to the podium and punched him in the side of the head. From there, members of both sides started exchanging blows while others tried to pull them apart. Mdinaradze was discussing a potential law on foreign agents, which reportedly sparked the conflict. Protesters in the streets greeted Elisashvili with cheers as he exited the building.

The legislation, which requires non-commercial organizations and media to register as foreign agents if more than 20% of their budget comes from abroad, was brought forth by Mdinaradze, a member of the Georgian Dream Party. Opposition members believe it’s a “Putin-style” law, referencing Russian President Vladimir Putin and his disdain for outside media, and would hinder the country’s intentions of joining the European Union (EU). The concern is valid, as the nation only received candidate status last year and the EU has stated that the law is incompatible with its values.

This isn’t the first time the Georgian Dream Party has tried to introduce such legislation. Last year, it withdrew a bill after its introduction led to massive street protests. The party members insist such a law is necessary to avoid the country being taken over by “pseudo-liberal values,” which it claims foreigners have imposed.

If the legislation makes it to President Salome Zourabichvili’s desk, her representative, Girogi Mskhiladze, said she would veto it. The country’s Parliament passed it on Wednesday, but it still has to go through two readings before it becomes law. It would also have to override any presidential veto.

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