zviad dzidziguri - bidzina gujabidze

Zviad Dzidziguri (center) and Bidzina Gujabidze (right), members of parliament for the Conservative Party, a part of the Georgian Dream coalition, dressed in the traditional Georgian attire Chokha. (Parliament photo.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–Lawmakers in Georgia Friday discussed a proposal to allow members of the assembly to wear the national dress Chokha while in parliament.

The bill is the initiative of Bidzina Gujabidze from the Conservative Party, who argues that the physical appearance of a member of parliament is a national issue.

The current rules say that an MP should have a ‘protocol-business’ appearance, but Gujabidze wants to write into the regulations that the national clothes will also be allowed.

His party has made it a tradition to always show up for parliament’s first session or other festive occasions in the Georgian national attire.

While discussing the bill, Gujabidze engaged in a dispute with Goga Khachidze from the National Movement Party; the latter does not support the idea of wearing the national clothing.

Gujabidze says that Khachidze may decide what to wear, whether it is Chokha or ‘clothes of sexual minorities.’

This made the UNM representative accuse the bill’s author of hate speech towards sexual minorities.

Gujabidze came for this first hearing of the bill dressed in a Chokha.