Physical brawl erupts in Georgia’s parliament as lawmakers consider resurrected ‘foreign agents’ bill

Posted: Mon, 15 Apr 2024 16:45:44 UTC+3

Georgian lawmakers’ discussion of a bill to establish a “foreign agents” registry broke into a physical fight on Monday when the leader of an opposition party punched the parliamentary majority leader on the parliament floor.

The country’s ruling party, Georgian Dream, first introduced a “foreign agents” bill in March 2023 but dropped the initiative after it sparked widespread protests and criticism from human rights groups and Western countries, who likened it to repressive legislation in Russia. The party announced a renewed attempt to create a “foreign agents” registry over a year later, on April 3, 2024. Monday was the first day of the bill’s consideration.

Video from the legislation session shows deputy Aleko Elisashvili, the leader of the Citizens party, hitting majority leader Mamuka Mdinaradze in the face, sparking chaos in the chamber. Elisashvili was reportedly met with “cheers and hugs” by protesters outside of the parliament.

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