TBILISI, DFWatch–Parliamentarians in Georgia failed to reach agreement Tuesday about whether men should be legally obligated to take off their hats when the national anthem is played in the assembly.
Giorgi Kakhiani has authored a draft bill that will remove the obligation, thus relaxing a presidential decree, now in force, saying that when the national anthem is played, everyone must stand up, and the men must remove their hat and place it over their heart. Soldiers are exempt from doing this.
The draft was discussed at a session of the education and science committee, where Kakhiani explained that forcing men to remove their hat is an ‘old-fashioned approach’, as a person still has to stand up during the anthem, put the hand over the heart and try to sing along, even though it is not written in any regulation, so it is not necessary to have it written on paper.
But some MPs didn’t like the proposal. They argue that removing the hat is a form of expressing respect and it should be compulsory.
MP Gia Japaridze from Georgian Dream also didn’t like the proposal to ease the hat-removing duty, because a new generation is coming along who doesn’t know what to wear. He criticized journalists for coming to parliament without being properly dressed.
“How can this be? It must have its own rule and regulation. It cannot be left to their mind,” the MP said. But a journalist for Interpressnews noted that Japaridze that day wore black jeans and knitted sweatshirt even though parliament’s regulation obliges MPs to be dressed according to ‘business protocol’.
This is not the first time the new parliamentary assembly is ridiculed for the way it spends its time. In December 2012, MPs were discussing a prohibition on certain types of condoms.
In February, 2013, conservatives wanted to let it be allowed to wear the national dress Chokha during sessions in parliament.