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Ethics Council May Regulate Behavior of MPs

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, April 5
Georgia’s ruling party Georgian Dream (GD) has initiated changes to the parliament regulations, including creation of Ethics Council which will regulate behavior of parliament members.

The changes became necessary after frequent verbal and physical confrontation of Georgian MPs in parliament. The last similar case took place in the legislative body on April 3.

Under the amendments, the MP is obliged to observe the Code of Ethics, otherwise the MP might see reduced salary.

According to the amendments of the Parliament, the behavior of the MP with colleagues, media and other institutions, is determined by the Code of Ethics.

The initiative reads that the Council of Ethics shall be established within 2 months from the recognition of the authority of the Parliament. The procedures and organizational issues of the Council are regulated by the Code of Ethics.

In case of violation of the Code of Ethics by a Parliament memebr, the amount of liability can be:

- Recommendation card / warning;

- Reduction of salaries (minimum 10% and maximum of 50% of the salary);

- Suspension of participation in official visits (maximum of 6 months).

The Ethics Council will discuss the alleged violations of the Code on its own initiative or after receiving complaint. The Council will have two co-chairs – one from the majority and the other from the opposition factions.

Under the current Code of Ethics, the third article regulates behavior of MPs. It reads that:

- The Member of Parliament should respect the MPs, Parliament Employees and Citizens. He/she should use the correct vocabulary in relation to citizens, and while delivering public speeches and participating in parliamentary debates;

- A member of the Parliament shall not offend or insult others, or make sexist, hate or discriminatory speeches.

However, despite these regulations, verbal and physical confrontation and insulting speeches are quite common in Georgian parliament.