Argentine lawmaker suspended for conduct in virtual session

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — An Argentine lawmaker was suspended Thursday for inappropriate conduct with a woman during a virtual session of congress, when he appeared on camera touching his wife as she sat on his lap.

During the broadcast of the virtual session of Argentina’s Lower House, the images of legislators participating appeared in boxes in rows on the screen. As other legislators debated bills, deputy Juan Emilio Ameri of the ruling Peronist party could be seen pulling down the shirt of his wife and kissing one of her breasts.

House president Sergio Massa interrupted the session to report “a serious offense by a deputy.”

“There was a situation that has nothing to do with the normal decorum and operation of this house,” he said and called for the immediate suspension of Ameri and the creation of a five-member commission to expedite his expulsion. The proposals were endorsed.

Ameri, from Salta province, said he did not realize he was still connected.

“I’m very ashamed, very bad,” Ameri told Con Vos de Buenos Aires radio.

“It’s not that I was having sex with my wife. It was a 10-second circumstance,” he said. “She came out of the bathroom and I saw her. I told her let’s see how it is because she’d had an implant put in a few days ago.”

He said he was convinced he didn’t have an internet connection but was reconnected automatically.

“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,” Massa said.

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