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Zourabichvili: Playing Soviet anthem in parliament is violation of law

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Thursday, February 20
President Salome Zourabichvili responded to the February 18 performance of Irma Nadirashvili and Elene Khoshtaria, MPs of European Georgia in the Parliament of Georgia.

“Playing the anthem of the Soviet Union in the Parliament of Georgia is an insult to the Georgian state and a violation of the legislation. It is unacceptable to use the national anthem in the legislative body and to discredit the state institution,” reads the statement by Salome Zourabichvili, which was published by the President’s administration.

Zourabichvili urges lawmakers to respect the law passed by Parliament. According to the statement, the fact that happened during the Speaker's address to the legislature yesterday contradicts the goals of the Freedom Charter.

At the plenary sitting of the Parliament of Georgia, during the speech of the Chairman of the Parliament, Archil Talakvadze, the members of European Georgia Elene Khoshtaria and Irma Nadirashvili entered the hall and played the anthem of the Soviet Union in protest.

The Charter of Freedom in force since 2011 aims to eliminate, by international standards, universally recognized principles and norms, communist totalitarian and fascist symbols, as well as to prohibit the pursuit of communist totalitarian and fascist ideologies and other means of propaganda.

“Coincidentally, you mentioned the occupation and joined the Russian anthem,” Gia Volski told Talakvadze, who had previously spoken about the responsibility of the previous Georgian government for the Russian occupation.

Elene Khoshtaria told the media that the protest was a demonstration that they would not tolerate the ‘establishment of the Soviet Union in Georgia.’

“In a half-empty hall, Archil Talakvadze addresses people, in a country that is in a crisis, this everything is a symbol of the Soviet Union and its anthem,” said Talakvadze.

Representatives of the Government of Georgia and the Diplomatic Corps were attending the annual report on Archil Talakvadze's activities.

After this happened, several activists of the Georgian Dream protested the event and called on Khoshtaria to leave her mandate.

“Elene Khoshtaria and Irma Nadirashvili should leave their mandates” - Georgian Dream activists entered one of the restaurants in Tbilisi where MP Khoshtaria was having dinner. After a few minutes, they moved to the office of European Georgia.