VIDEO: Lawmaker suspended from Congress after kissing partner’s breast during Zoom conference
A lawmaker suspended from Congress after kissing his partner’s breast during a videoconference
Salta legislator Juan Emilio Ameri, 47, was caught on camera planting a kiss on his partner’s breast during a remote session with fellow lawmakers. This inappropriate act of affection cost him his place in Congress, Buenos Aires Times reports.
On a Thursday Zoom conference, Ameri sparked outrage after his colleagues witnessed his ‘scandalous show’. The wide video screen installed in the Chamber of Deputies showed a woman approaching the Salta Province lawmaker and sitting on his lap. Ameri is then seen touching her body, pulling her top down, and kissing her breast. The legislator later confirmed the woman was his girlfriend.
In an attempt to explain the shocking scene, the former congressman said he wasn’t aware that he was connected to the videoconference at the time. In an interview with Radio Con Vos, Ameri said:
“I’m very ashamed, [I feel] very bad. Here, throughout the interior of the country, the [Internet] connection is very bad. We were in session, [but] the Internet dropped [out]. My partner came out of the bathroom, I asked her how the prostheses were and I gave her a kiss because 10 days ago she had a breast implant operation.”
The 47-year-old politician faces a wait of up to five days to learn the Congress’ final decision.
Understandably, the Zoom session was immediately interrupted. Lower House Speaker Sergio Massa announced he needed to report ‘a serious offense’ by a deputy. Massa also called for Ameri’s immediate suspension and suggested an expulsion. He said:
“We are going to listen to the explanations of the deputy, but we cannot admit that this type of behavior occurs in a body of representatives in a democracy.”
According to the Lower House speaker, the deputy’s unacceptable actions had ‘discredited the entire political class.’ Massa fears that if Congress doesn’t respond quickly to such shameful acts, people will lose their respect for politics in general.
This was the second time Juan Ameri has faced controversy during his legislative career. As per the local outlet Realpolitik, in December 2019, the deputy was accused of harassing a 17-year-old female political activist. The story was mainly based on allegations, so Ameri branded it as ‘fake news’ and denied being involved in such offense.