GD Chairman: PACE urges opposition to enter parliament

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 26 January 2021 12:45

“The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has discussed election report prepared by Tini Kox today and reiterated that the elections were competitive and free in Georgia,” Irakli Kobakhidze, the Chairman of the ruling Georgian Dream Party, stated on Monday.

According to him, PACE approved the observation mission’s report, including recommendations.

“This recommendation reflects our will. In particular, to check all violations revealed in this election. That’s why we’ve proposed the opposition to set up a parliamentary commission,” GD Chairman said.

Irakli Kobakhidze stresses that the CoE calls on the opposition to engage in parliamentary work. “We hope the opposition will take these statements into account,” he said.

He also echoed the decision on re-electing him as PACE Vice-President. “I am happy to be approved as PACE Vice-President for the second term in a row,” Kobakhidze added.

 

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    In the Interim Resolution (*) published today on the Georgia v. Russia (I) case the Committee of Ministers recalled that, despite ceasing to be a member of the Council of Europe on 16 March 2022, the Russian Federation is still required to implement judgments of the European Court, and the Committee of Ministers continues to supervise their execution.

    According to the European Court’s judgment of January 2019, Russia inter alia had to pay to the Georgian government 10 million euros in respect of non-pecuniary damage suffered by a group of at least 1,500 Georgian nationals. The Committee deeply deplored the continued absence of the information from the Russian authorities and reiterated again its most profound concern that the payment of the just satisfaction and default interest accrued has not been made despite the passage of over three years since the deadline for payment expired on 30 April 2019.

    The Secretariat of the Committee of Ministers will create and publish a register of just satisfaction owing in all inter-state cases against the Russian Federation and will keep it regularly updated as regards the default interest accrued so that both the issue and the sums due can remain under close public scrutiny.

    The Committee of Ministers has also adopted the Interim Resolution on the second interstate case, Georgia v. Russia (II). The European Court’s judgment on this case has become final in October 2021 and concerned various violations in the context of the armed conflict between Georgia and the Russian Federation in August 2008.

    The Committee has urged again the Russian authorities to submit to the Committee of Ministers a plan on the execution of this judgment and to investigate the serious crimes committed during the active phase of hostilities as well as during the period of occupation. It has firmly reiterated again its profound concern about the inability of Georgian nationals to return to their homes in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and its insistence that the Russian Federation, which has effective control over these regions, ensure without delay safe return of persons wishing to return to their homes. The question of just satisfaction in this case remains pending at the Court.

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    -------
    (*) An Interim Resolution is a form of decision adopted by the Committee of Ministers aimed at overcoming more complex situations requiring special attention.

  • TALKS WERE HELD IN ASHGABAT BETWEEN THE CHAIRMAN OF THE HALK MASLAKHATY OF THE MILLI GENGESH AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE MILLI MAJLIS OF AZERBAIJAN

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    Then the meeting continued in an expanded format with the participation of parliamentary delegations from both countries.

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    Then, in a solemn atmosphere, the Decree of the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov was read out on awarding the Chairman of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan Sahiba Gafarova with the Order of Turkmenistan “Hyzmatdaşlygy ösdürmäge goşandy üçin”, (“For the contribution to develop cooperation”) which she was awarded for her great personal contribution to the comprehensive development of Turkmen-Azerbaijani relations.

    On behalf of the head of state, to the friendly applause of the audience, the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty of the Milli Gengesh presented a high award to the head of the Azerbaijani Parliament, warmly congratulating her on this significant event and wishing her further success in her work.

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    In the afternoon, the Head of the Azerbaijani Parliament laid a wreath at the Monument of Independence of Turkmenistan, located in the southern part of Ashgabat. On the same day, the Chairman of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan visited the National Museum of the Turkmen Carpet.

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  • THE GEORGIAN PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION TO NATO PA HOLDS BILATERAL MEETINGS IN MADRID

    The Parliamentary Delegation, headed by the Chair of the Defense and Security Committee, Irakli Beraia held the bilateral meetings within the NATO PA sessions.

    According to the administration of the Parliament of Georgia, Georgian MPs met with the representatives of Sweden, Finland, Turkey and Estonia and dwelt on the regional security and security challenges of Georgia, the Russian war against Ukraine, the Russian occupation and its consequences, as well as the conventional and hybrid threats that Georgia encounters.

    Georgian MPs underlined the necessity of Georgia’s NATO integration and the acceleration of this decision emphasizing the necessity to further enhance the countering the security and hybrid threats for the national defense of Georgia.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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