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Tbilisi seeks hard-fisted democracy2011-09-29 20:23
Forced suppression of freedom of speech, now a sad norm on streets of Georgian towns, is now residing in Georgia's parliament. At the latest session of the legislative body dedicated to the Memory and Hope Day, any interpretation of August 2008 events that was different from the official point of view was cut short immediately and harshly. And those who were brave enough to express themselves were labeled provokers and foreign spies. Petre Mamradze, a deputy of the Unity for Democracy faction, was condemned for his independent opinion.
for his independent opinion.
Judging by yesterday's events in Sakartvelo parliament session room, the Memory and Hope day had better be renamed in Memory Censorship and No Hope day. Petre Mamradze's attempt to remind his colleagues of the reasons that led to the armed conflict in South Ossetia three years ago, recognized by the European Union, was cut short by non-parliamentary expressions of Akaki Bobokhidze, a representative of the pro-presidential majority from the committee for environment and natural resources protection. "Everyone must realize that after Saakashvili's military and political adventure in 2008 when he gave Russia a wonderful chance to announce South Ossetia as independent states...", - the parliamentarian from opposition began. He had to stop his speech, attacked by an overly hot-tempered supporter of the adventurist from Avlabari.
Generally recognized details of the shameful adventure had such a strong impression on him that Mr. Bobokhidze considered it insufficient to insult his political opponent verbally and switched over to physical acts by slapping the deputy from Unity for Democracy faction on the cheek.
Petre Mamradze turned out to be more civilized than his swinish colleague and did not continue the conflict. However, after Bobokhidze's attack his words sounded more significant. He said that "as long as Georgia has this regime, our country has no future either to restore its territorial integrity or to make progress in democracy".
The head of the environment protection committee understood that his act did more harm than good so he tried to apologize. But it was evident he was more accustomed to deal with hunters and foresters, so his words sounded awkward. Definitely he is much better at fighting than speaking in parliament.