MoD fires world champion MMA soldier for his participation in by-election clash

First class soldier Lasha Dvalishvili is a world champion in Mixed Martial Arts. Photo by Information Centre of Kakheti., 02 Jun 2016 - 18:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Ministry of Defence has today fired a soldier for participating in a clash at the western Zugdidi by-elections on May 22 

The Ministry said the action of First Class private soldier Lasha Dvalishvili contradicted the military discipline and high standards required of the Georgian Armed Forces (GAF), and subsequently the soldier had been released from duty.

Dvalishvili is an experienced soldier and gained a world championship title in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) two months ago.

The Ministry stressed other institutions had the right to charge and sentence people for their actions however the GAF had its own code and soldiers were required to follow the rules. If they didn’t, they were fired.

We were proud of Lasha Dvalishvili when he gained the world championship in MMA two months ago. However the video footage reflecting his behavior in Kortskheli village in Zugdidi municipality showed us his actions required mandatory military discipline,” said the Ministry of Defence.
The high reputation of the Ministry of Defence and Georgia’s Armed Forces are of the highest importance,” the Ministry added. 

The incident happened on May 22 outside a polling station for the Sakrebulo (local council) by-elections in Kortskheli village, Zugdidi municipality. 

A clash broke out between supporters of the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party and opposition United National Movement (UNM).

The fist-fight was strongly condemned by Georgia’s Prime Minister, who called it "absolutely deplorable” and tasked the Ministry of Justice to draft amendments that would ensure tough punishment for future election violations. 

Today the Ministry of Internal Affairs said six individuals had been charged with hooliganism relating to the incident.