PACE pre-electoral delegation said that there was an environment for democratic elections

Published in Politics
Friday, 16 September 2016 11:15

Strasbourg, 15.09.2016 – A delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was in Tbilisi on 13 and 14 September 2016 to assess the pre-electoral climate of the parliamentary elections scheduled for 8 October 2016.
The delegation*, led by Emanuelis Zingeris (Lithuania, EPP/CD), felt that there was an environment for democratic elections in the country. It saw a pluralistic political and media landscape and a working legal framework. Although the delegation felt that the general climate was clearly less tense than it was during past elections, following discussions with various interlocutors, it considered necessary to underline that all parties should denounce all forms of campaign violence and harassment of opponents and that they should publicly call upon all their supporters to refrain from any actions that could undermine the democratic character of the elections.
The delegation indeed heard allegations of unacceptable acts of violence, intimidation, harassment and blackmail directed at candidates and voters. In this context, such acts, even if isolated, against candidates, party members or supporters, as well as threats against journalists, must be prevented. Perpetrators of such acts must be identified and punished. The delegation also said that any misuse of administrative resources in the electoral campaign must not happen.
The delegation underlined that all parties should focus on the real issues and avoid questioning the election framework as a campaign strategy, as this could undermine public trust in the elections themselves.
The delegation called on all stakeholders, and in particular on the authorities, to avoid any actions that could increase the tensions in the political environment in the run-up to the elections. It expressed the hope that all political players would spare no efforts to pave the way towards building a genuine culture of education, based on mutual respect between political forces of opposing orientations.
The PACE pre-electoral delegation was in Tbilisi at the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. It met with the Prime Minister, with the Speaker of the Parliament and its first Deputy, with members of the delegation to PACE, with the Chairperson of the State Election Commission, with the Minister of Internal Affairs, with the Head of the National Communications Commission, with leaders and representatives of parliamentary and non-parliamentary parties running in the elections, with representatives of civil society and the media, with the Deputy Head of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission and with diplomats based in Tbilisi. 

 

A full-fledged 32-member delegation from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will arrive in Georgia prior to the parliamentary elections to observe the vote.

Read 914 times

Related items

  • A MEETING WITH A DELEGATION OF THE UNODC REGIONAL OFFICE WAS HELD AT THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF TURKMENISTAN

    On November 21, 2022, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan V. Hajiyev held a meeting with a delegation led by the Regional Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Central Asia, Ms. Ashita Mittal, who arrived in Ashgabat on a working visit.

    At the beginning of the meeting, the Turkmen side expressed gratitude to the UNODC regional representative for the visit and efforts to jointly organize the 55th session of the Sub-Commission on Illicit Drug Trafficking and Related Issues in the Near and Middle East in Ashgabat.

    Then, during the meeting, the parties noted that the event is of particular importance in the context of Turkmenistan's membership in the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs for 2020-2023. The parties expressed their conviction that the results of the session will serve as a basis for further cooperation both in the region and in the world as a whole in the fight against illicit drug trafficking.

    During the meeting, the parties highly appreciated the level of cooperation between Turkmenistan and UNODC and discussed the implementation of national, regional and global UNODC programs to combat drug trafficking.

    The parties also considered a number of issues related to the Action Plan (“Roadmap”) for the further development of cooperation between Turkmenistan and UNODC for the period from 2022 to 2025.

    In addition, the Initiative to Strengthen Cross-border Cooperation of the UNODC Program for the Countries of Central Asia was discussed.

    Highly praising the effectiveness of bilateral cooperation and, having considered the achievements of the Turkmen customs service, the parties recognized the success of Turkmenistan's efforts to integrate into the world economy and open new international trade relations.

    Taking the opportunity, V. Hajiyev invited Ms. A. Mittal to take part in the Conference “Dialogue is a Guarantee of Peace”, which will be held in the Turkmen capital on December 11 this year

  • Georgian President visits France

    Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili is visiting France to attend high-ranking meetings in Strasbourg and Paris.

    The president will participate in the World Forum for Democracy 2022 and the Paris Peace Forum.

    According to the President’s press office, Zourabichvili will meet with Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, and PACE President Tiny Kox.

    On the sidelines of the World Forum for Democracy, Zurabishvili will also meet the Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

  • ADDRESS OF THE SPEAKER, SHALVA PAPUASHVILI TO THE PACE PRESIDENT, TINY KOX

    The Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, Shalva Papuashvili, wrote a letter to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Martinus Tiny Kox, stating that the inclusion of Mikheil Saakashvili in the amendment to the Resolution changes the essence and spirit of the Resolution and undermines the fundamental values of PACE and the credibility of the organisation in upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law across Europe. "News Day Georgia" offers this statement in full:

    To the PACE President, Tiny Kox
    Mr. President,
    A long-standing partnership of the Parliament of Georgia with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe allows me to address you with regards to Resolution 2463 (2022): “Further escalation in the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, debated under the urgent procedure of the fourth part of the ordinary session. Despite our full solidarity to Ukraine in the face of the Russian aggression, approval of the following amendment has prevented the members of the Georgian Delegation from supporting the Resolution: “the Assembly calls on the Russian authority for the immediate release of Vladimir Kara-Murza. The Assembly also calls for a review of cases of other political prisoners opposed to Putin in the Russian Federation and other countries, and for their release (including Mikheil Saakashvili – a Ukrainian citizen and former President of Georgia)”.

    We believe that the inclusion of Mikheil Saakashvili in this amendment (a) changes the essence and spirit of the Resolution, and (b) undermines the fundamental values of PACE and the credibility of organization in upholding human rights, democracy and rules of law across Europe. The European Court of Human Rights issued over 100 judgements during Mr. Saakashvili’s rule, including 13 cases on Article 2 (right to life), 34 cases on Article 3 (prohibition of torture), 15 cases on Article 5 (right to liberty and security), and 44 cases on Article 6 (right to a fair trial). Moreover, the Court underlined in its Alexander Girgvliani murder case (Enukidze and Girgvliani v. Georgia) that Mr. Saakashvili hindered an effective investigation and appropriate punishment.

    The Report on Human Rights Development in Georgia in 2004-2012 made by Mr. Thomas Hammamberg, former Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and the EU Special Adviser on Constitutional and Legal Reform and Human Rights in Georgia in 2013 is a testament to systemic violations of the Convention-related rights during Saakashvili’s presidency. It identifies an alarming situation in areas of judiciary, penitentiary, law enforcement, rights of minorities, rights to take part in public affairs, freedom of expression, assembly and association, and social justice. Mr. Saakashvili has been convicted in Georgia in two criminal cases (the one on the above-mentioned Girgvliani case and the other on organizing an attack against opposition MP Valeri Gelashvili).

    Three other criminal cases are pending (on the exceeding and abusing of official powers during the breaking up of anti-government protests on November 7, 2007, and the subsequence seizure of Imedi TV, an independent television broadcaster; on embezzlement of funds from the State Protection Service for personal use; and on illegal crossing of the Georgian state border). The ECHR refused to accept Mr. Saakashvili’s case regarding his treatment by Georgia’s penitentiary system. ECHR has found there were no “special circumstances” in the application relating to respect for human rights, which would have required the body to continue the examination of the case.

    The decision of the European Court has once again confirmed that the rights and interests of Mikheil Saakashvili were fully protected in the penitentiary system per the standards of the ECHR. Georgia has both a clear track record of protecting human rights, democracy and rule of law since 2012 and closely cooperating with the ECHR in implementing its judgements. Georgian cases to the ECHR dropped 5,5 times in 2013-2021 compared to Mr. Saakashvili’s rule in 2004-2012, owing to the progress in credibility, independence and professionalism of the Georgian courts.

    This progress has been duly reflected in the Resolution 2438 “The honoring of obligations and commitments by Georgia” adopted by the Assembly during the second part of the 2022 ordinary session. Having this in mind, we believe there is no evidence of political motivations in the charges against Mr. Saakashvili other than politically-driven speculations. Therefore, the adoption of language as in amendment 4 represents an unsubstantiated challenge for the Georgian legal system, invites unjustified suspicion against our country in international fora and undermines Georgia’s reform progress in human rights and the rule of law since 2012.

    More importantly, the unfounded provisions on Mr. Saakshvili jeopardize the credibility of PACE within the wider Georgian public and erode our efforts to solidify support for the ambitious reform agenda aligned with recommendations of the relevant PACE resolutions.

    We remain hopeful that PACE members will in future be guided only by the best interests of the organization and its fundamental values. We stand ready to provide detailed insight on any issue of your interest about Georgia. Please, accept, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest consideration and esteem.

    Sincerely,

    Shalva Papuashvili
    The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia

  • Russia’s so-called referendums in Ukrainian regions ‘null and void’, says PACE

    STRASBOURG. PACE has strongly condemned the attempted annexation of Ukrainian regions by Russia, describing the so-called referendums in these regions as “an affront to international law” and “null and void, with no legal or political effects”.

    The Assembly was debating a report by Emanuelis Zingeris (Lithuania, EPP/CD) on further escalation in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, following a video address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

    In a resolution, adopted unanimously, the parliamentarians called for a “comprehensive system” to hold the Russian Federation and its leadership accountable for its aggression and violations of human rights and humanitarian law – including speeding up the establishment of a special ad hoc tribunal to prosecute the crime of aggression against Ukraine.

    The Assembly also called on Council of Europe member states to declare the current Russian regime as “a terrorist one”. It said the unleashing of a war of aggression by a permanent member of the UN Security Council “posed a challenge to global governance” and noted increasing support for reform of the Security Council.

    Russia’s increased threats of nuclear warfare were incompatible with the responsibilities of a nuclear power holding a permanent seat on the Council, the parliamentarians said, as well as being “abhorrent and reckless”.

    These issues should feature highly on the agenda of any future Fourth Summit of the Council of Europe, the Assembly added.

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed PACE’s Autumn plenary session

    STRASBOURG. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) during its Autumn plenary session (Strasbourg, 10 to 14 October 2022). The Assembly also held an urgent debate on "Further escalation in the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine". 

    During the PACE plenary session there were addresses by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, as well as the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama.

    The 2022 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which honours outstanding human rights defenders, was awarded in a special ceremony, with the overall winner selected from among three shortlisted candidates.

    The Assembly held current affairs debates on "Military hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia, including strikes against settlements and civilian infrastructures" and on  "Threatened bans of Pride events in Council of Europe member States".

    In addition, the Assembly debated a European perspective for the Western Balkans, countering Islamophobia or anti-Muslim racism, vaccine discrimination, and the impact of Brexit on human rights on the island of Ireland. The Assembly also discussed the honouring of obligations and commitments by Türkiye, Hungary and Romania.

    Thomas Byrne, Ireland’s European Affairs Minister, presented the Communication from the Committee of Ministers in the framework of the Irish Presidency of the Council of Europe. The Organisation’s Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić held the usual question time with PACE members.

    The Assembly also debated reports on the misuse of the Schengen Information system by States as a politically-motivated sanction, discrimination against women in sport, safe third countries for asylum seekers, illegal measures of migration management in the context of pushbacks on land and sea, and revisiting labour rights.

Business News

Silk Road Tbilisi Forum 2015 has started

Silk Road Tbilisi Forum 2015 has started

Silk Road Tbilisi 2015 forum started today. Following the success of the inaugural Routes Silk Road...

Agreement between SES and GEE

Agreement between SES and GEE

A new multi-year agreement was signed between worldwide satellite operator SES and Global Eagle Ente...

Visa free regime to impose for 15 February

Visa free regime to impose for 15 February

The visa regime imposed by Georgia to Iran has been cancelled for 15 February,” -the Deputy Ambassad...

USA to allocate 63 million US dollars for Georgia

USA to allocate 63 million US dollars for Georgia

U.S. Department of State to allocate 63 million US dollars for Georgia. According to the budgetary d...

MOST READ

« December 2022 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

About

The News Agency,
NEWSDAY.GE is
a part of STARVISION
Media Group.
It made its first
appearance on the Internet..More

 

Contact

NEWSDAY Ltd.
Lechkhumi street.43

Georgia,Tbilisi

Phone: (+995 32) 257 91 11
E-mail: avtandil@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Social Media