TBILISI, DFWatch–A member of parliament from the governing coalition on Wednesday defended himself against what he thought was innuendo implying that he had visited a brothel.
The speech by Soso Jachvliani, an armwrestler, actor and film director who is also a member of parliament for Georgian Dream, became an instant hit around social media in Georgia.
The precursor was a comment by National Movement MP Eka Kherkheulidze in May, who criticized the majority for being too much absent during sessions and added sarcastically: “..as if Mr Jachvliani is performing a speech at the EBRD conference.”
Many MPs were absent during a session in May, but some of them attended the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s annual civil society conference in Tbilisi at the time, which was seen as a valid reason.
In his somewhat late answer on Wednesday, it seems that Jachvliani confused EBRD, the abbreviation for European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, spelled in Georgian as ‘ibiardi’, with a word, which is used in Georgian to refer to brothel. Although these two words have only distant similarity.
“She said a few months ago that a parliamentary session failed and there was a lack of quorum, because Jachvliani was at ibiardi (EBRD). Why do you insult me, Ms Eka? I will never be at ibiardi, I am a faithful husband. Your party used to go to this ibiardi for ten years,” Jachvliani remarked.
He reprimanded the opposition for wanting to divide his family by saying that he had attended an EBRD (or ‘ibiardi’) forum.
“I never spent time with sex-workers in the past or now. It was insulting for me to pay 10 manats for that. I was fixing such issues without 10 manats. By the way, if there was any beautiful woman in Soviet movie I ‘worked’ with all of them without 10 manats,” he continued.
In a Facebook post later in the day, Vice Speaker of Parliament Manana Kobakhidze apologized to the public that she was unable to stop Jachvliani.
“I apologize to people, voters, our supporters or opponents, women who were sitting in this hall or who listened to obscene expressions in Soso Jachvliani’s statement, and I think this goes beyond any form of humor,” Kobakhidze wrote.
“Today I felt ashamed because of my colleague and I don’t feel shame to admit it.”
Soso Jachvliani is member of the ruling coalition and was elected to parliament in 2012. He is 57 years old and graduated from Georgia’s Physical Training Institute. He is director of Shota Rustaveli Theatre University. He has won awards at international film festivals, and is the chair of the film studio Georgian Film’s supervisory council. He is also president of the Georgian armwrestling federation.