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Politicians Fight Dirty In Parliament Over Controversial Bill

Georgian politicians began fist-fighting during a parliamentary debate about a controversial bill.

Mamuka Mdinaradze, leading ruler of the Georgian Dream party and a politician who supports the “foreign agent” bill, was punched by opposition leader Aleko Elisashvili while speaking. After the first punch was thrown, several other legislators began throwing punches.

Elisashvili was later cheered by citizens outside of the parliament building for his actions.

Speaking to news outside of the building, Elisashvili said: “I got beaten, but if it’s for Georgia, then so be it. F* them! We must shove this law up their aes.

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“There is no time for politeness, they are dragging us directly into Russia. We are either Georgians or slaves. And we are not slaves.”

Five opposition MPs have now been expelled from the Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill after the brawl: Giorgi Vashadze, Paata Manjgaladze, Ana Natsvlishvili, Levan Khabeishvili and Khatia Dekanoidze.

The controversial bill was introduced by the Georgian Dream party, and would require organisations that accept funding from abroad to register as “foreign agents” or face fines.

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But the bill has drawn fierce backlash and caused strain for Georgian citizens who aim to join the EU.

European countries and the EU have opposed the bill – but the country has already deepened their ties with Russia.

After the bill was introduced last year, protestors threw Molotov cocktails, fireworks and stones at police in the capitol city of Tbilisi.

But Givi Mikanadze, a Georgian Dream lawmaker, told national TV last year: “Georgian society absolutely deserves to know which organisations are being financed, from which sources.”

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More than 60 civil society organisations and media outlets have said they will not comply with the bill if it is signed into law.

Protestors outside of the parliament building on Monday, April 15, chanted: “No to the Russian law!”

Saba Gotua, an architect, told AFP: “Georgia’s society is strong enough not to allow the country to slide into Russian-styled authoritarianism.”

But the Georgian Dream party said the bill will combat “pseudo-liberal values” imposed by foreigners and promote transparency about foreign funding.

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