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Georgia’s ruling party slams TV host’s rant as verbal vandalism

Earlier, TV host Georgy Gabunia used foul language to scold the Russian leadership for more than a minute, which caused condemnation from a number of Georgian senior officials

TBILISI, July 8. /TASS/. Georgian TV anchor Georgy Gabunia’s obscenity-laden tirade against the Russian leadership was an act of verbal vandalism, the "Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia" ruling party said in a statement on Monday.

"They [the Rustavi-2 TV channel’s management - TASS] have taught the public to see abuse on TV, including insults against our party’s leader Bidzina Ivanishvili, but live insults against the graves of our ancestors are an act of verbal vandalism that goes beyond Georgian and Caucasus civilization, and civilization in general," the statement reads.

Rustavi-2 Director General Nika Gvaramia and journalist Yekaterina Kvesitadze host a show dubbed "Different Accents." He has repeatedly used foul language when speaking about political processes going on in the country.

In his Sunday op-ed, Gabunia used foul language to scold the Russian leadership for more than a minute. Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze, former Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze, Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and ex-Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze strongly condemned his remarks. Rustavi-2 Director General Nika Gvaramia also criticized Gabunia’s behavior. In addition, the TV host’s rant received a lot of backlash from a large number of Georgian Facebook users.

Massive rallies have been taking place in front of the Georgian parliament building since June 20. The protests were sparked by an uproar over a session of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy hosted by the parliament. In accordance with an approved protocol, the head of Russia’s delegation Sergei Gavrilov, a member of the State Duma (the lower house of parliament), took the Georgian parliament speaker’s seat, irking the Georgian opposition that disrupted the event and brought people on to the streets. Protesters eventually tried to storm the parliament building. As a result, 240 people suffered injuries and more than 300 were detained. Last week, the Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office labeled the attempt to storm the parliament as a coup aimed at overthrowing the government.