Locals Demand Chkhorotsku Mayor Resignation

Video, Depicting Minors Cleaning Town Hall Restroom, Sparks Outrage

A group of locals demanded today the resignation of the Mayor of western Chkhorotsku Municipality, after a controversial video allegedly depicting schoolchildren cleaning the Municipality Hall’s restroom spread on social media.

Several seventh-grade students of the local public school were taken to clean the Municipality Hall by Eter Japaridze, a former employee of the municipal Cleaning Service.

One of the minors told Georgian media they were unaware beforehand that they would have to clean the restroom, while another claimed they at first cleaned the Municipality Hall entrance and then tried to mop the lavatory floor after two of the classmates “spilled something.”

An opposition activist confronted the Mayor and accused him of trying to cover up the story, claiming the former Cleaning Service employee was the Mayor’s relative.

Chkhorotsku Mayor Davit Gogua said the former Cleaning Service Employee had acted arbitrarily, claiming that “no one was informed [about the matter beforehand]… As soon as I found it out, we escorted the children from the Town Hall premises.”

The Mayor also said the authorities have already launched an investigation under Article 150 of the Criminal Code, involving coercion.

Japaridze, on her part, denied that she violated the minors’ rights, arguing instead that children should “get used to” working from an early age. She said: “When they grow up, they will say that this woman [referring to herself] wanted this good for us.”

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