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The parliamentary code of ethics: a hot issue

By Messenger Staff
Friday, July 19
From time to time the world enjoys watching heated arguments break out in the parliaments of various countries. Sometimes the verbal confrontation degenerates into physical violence. It has happened in a number of countries: Japan, Korea, Ukraine… and Georgia, as well.

Some simply view it as fun entertainment. However, for a country which claims to be a member of the civilized community such scenes are shameful, not only for the legislative body and politicians but for the country as a whole.

Therefore a serious code of parliamentary ethics is necessary.

Georgia's current parliament has inspired some very loud and heated debates full of passion and emotion. During its nine months of existence so far there have been several cases where parliamentarians have begun to insult each other and almost come to blows.

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili has recently made a statement asking MPs to be more tolerant and refrain from insulting each other.

The Georgian parliamentary of ethics has been in place since 2004. However, nobody has been punished for not following the code of ethics and in fact many parliamentarians violate it all the time with impunity.

Now parliament wants to seriously get down to enforcing the code, but first and foremost the MP's must observe the code themselves.

New regulations can be adopted but only with the goodwill of all MPs can the dignity of Georgia's parliament be maintained. All parliamentarians need to respect each other despite their differences.

Is being an MP a privilege or a responsibility? Should an MP be more responsible than an ordinary citizen? These and many more are the questions which every MP should ask him- or herself. An MP should have an exemplary public persona and should treat others how they would want to be treated.