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

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 19 October 2022 14:06

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.

Stella Kyriakides elected PACE President

Published in World
Tuesday, 10 October 2017 17:57

Strasbourg, 10.10.2017 - Stella Kyriakides (Cyprus, EPP/CD) has been elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe following the resignation of Pedro Agramunt (Spain, EPP/CD) on 6 October 2017.

She obtained a large majority over the other candidate, Emanuelis Zingeris (Lithuania, EPP/CD), in the third round of voting. She will remain in office until the opening of the next ordinary session (Strasbourg, 22-26 January 2018).

She will be the 30th President of PACE since 1949, the first Cypriot, and the third woman to take up the post.

“This election comes during extraordinary times for this Assembly, times that have seen our credibility and integrity questioned. Times that have led to the often wrong type of publicity for the work done in this Assembly, leading to the questioning of the principles of transparency and integrity of the institutions of the Council of Europe. These are challenges and responsibilities for us all. But mostly, for myself as a newly elected President of this Assembly,” said Ms Kyriakides.

“My decision to run for the Presidency stemmed solely from my firm belief in Parliamentary Assembly, in democracy, human rights and the rule of law and my passion to work tirelessly. Today you have given me the opportunity, with the trust you have placed in me, to work towards these. In the upcoming few months my priority is to bring about calmness, consensus, credibility and unity. To work tirelessly and openly against corruption. To raise the bar so that we all follow the same principles and code of ethics. To do this, I will need the support of all political groups, of the Secretary General and the staff of the Council of Europe. Because this is why we are all here,” she concluded.

***

Born on 10 March 1956 in Nicosia, Cyprus, Stella Kyriakides studied psychology at Reading and Manchester Universities. At the Cypriot Ministry of Health, she was in charge of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from 1979-2006. She was elected to the Parliament of Cyprus in 2006, where she is a member of the Committee on Health Affairs and of the Committee on Foreign and European Affairs and Vice-President of the Democratic Rally Party.

President of the First Breast Cancer Movement in Cyprus in 1999, she was appointed by the Ministerial Council as President of the National Committee on Cancer Strategy in 2016. She organised the first breast cancer awareness campaign at the Council of Europe in 2013.

At the Assembly, she was Chairperson of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development as well as a member of the Monitoring Committee and the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination. She was a contact parliamentarian for the “No Hate Parliamentary Alliance” and the Council of Europe campaign against Child Sexual Abuse (2013-2015), as well as the General Rapporteur for Children's Rights (2013-2015). Stella Kyriakides is the Chairperson of the delegation of Cyprus to PACE and a member of the EPP/CD group.

PACE to observe the 2nd round of the parliamentary elections in Georgia

Published in World
Tuesday, 25 October 2016 18:58

A 5-member delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), led by Emanuelis Zingeris (Lithuania, EPP/CD), will travel to Georgia from 28 to 31 October to observe the conduct of the second round of the parliamentary elections alongside observers from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the European Parliament and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
The delegation will meet leaders of political parties, the Chairperson of the Central Election Commission, as well as representatives of civil society and the media, before observing the ballot on 30 October.

A joint press conference is scheduled on Monday 31 October (place and time to be confirmed).

List of delegation members

Emanuelis Zingeris (Lithuania, EPP/CD), Chairperson of the delegation

Alfred Heer (Switzerland, ALDE)

Mark Pritchard (United Kingdom, EC)

Co-rapporteurs of the PACE Monitoring Committee:

Boriss Cilevičs (Latvia, SOC)

Kerstin Lundgren (Sweden, ALDE)

G.Mgebrishvili met with pre election mission chairman of EU Council

Published in Justice
Thursday, 15 September 2016 17:32

Minister of Internal Affairs Giorgi Mgebrishvili held meeting with pre-election mission chairman from the European Council, President of the political group of European people’s Party Emanuelis Zingeris. At the meeting Mgebrishvili acquainter guests with the special decree, elaborated for holding early and mid-term elections for local and executive bodies and Supreme Council of A/R of Achara on October 8, 2016 in free and safe environment. As Mgebrishvili stated Ministry of Internal Affairs will carry out additional activities for holding elections in free and safe environment. In each region special groups, comprised of the regional police leadership will be formed to plan appropriate activities in their operational area for possible risks and its reasons as well as to provide risk assessment on the regular basis.
Minisstry also pointed out that it is especially important for the government to hold elections in free and safe environment, ensure free expression of will for the citizens and political parties in compliance with all international standards.
According to the Minister during the election period cooperation plan will be discussed in details along with the chairman of the Central Election Commission. “Ministry of Internal Affairs is ready to ensure fair and safe pre-election environment”,-stated Mgebrishvili.

PACE Observer Mission to Georgia

Published in Politics
Thursday, 15 September 2016 11:55

The primary topic of the considerations is pre-election milieu. The first meeting was held with the Georgian Dream. According to Gia Zhorzholiani, PACE representatives discussed pre-election milieu and the prospects of the elections, expected complications, current situation in terms of administrative resources usage, threats of violent actions, media accessibility etc. The pre-election milieu was estimated as very positive.
As underlined, Georgia is one of the best models of democracy and human rights protection in the region and beyond. As the Chair of the Faction, Giorgi Volski stated, People’s Party, Socialists and others, especially the EPP representative Emanuelis Zingeris gave the positive estimation to the pre-election period. “It is not a mere political theme for me and my colleagues. It is characteristic for Georgia at the extent to stop discussion this issue in the future. It became a usual phenomenon that the pre-election period is calm. In the future, if the situation is tensed or confrontations occur, it is impossible against the background we have today”. The parties discussed the basis and reasons for the politicians to speak about expected destabilization. “What information and ground the law-enforcement possess I cannot tell you, though we spoke about interviews, statements and official documents disclosed for the society directly speaking about overthrow of the Government”.
Attitude of Georgian society to the situation was estimated as positive which is characteristic because these people are glad that we practice such cooperation with EU structures considering each other in equal conditions. As the Secretary of the Georgian Dream-Entrepreneurs, Zurab Tkemaladze stated, he introduced the order of Tbilisi City Court that CEC was imposed to restore registration of the Election Bloc “Topadze-Entrepreneurs for Our Homeland”. “I introduced the illegal decision of Ms. Zhvania abolished by the Court. I explained the details about the case and spoke about the pre-election situation in other districts”.
As UNM member, Giorgi Kandelaki stated, “we spoke about pre-election situation, violence, interference of informal governor, B. Ivanishvili in Governmental activity, pressure on activists by security service, how to cooperate with CoE and other observer missions to prevent the change of authority in 2012 through elections to be an exception and to allow Georgian people realize this right any time they wish”. The Chair of Free Democrats, Irakli Chikovani supposes that comparison of current situation with 2012 elections is wrong. “There are gaps related to composition of the election administration, politicization of some court cases and usage of administrative resources, which takes place on the administrative municipality level and by law-enforcement”.
As Deputy-Chair of Republicans, Tamar Kordzaia stated, the parties discussed GD and UNM informal leaders actively participating in pre-election campaign creating unequal environ. “We described introduction of new political parties as an attempt of entry of formal opposition parties by B. Ivanishvili. We also spoke about situation in media and expressed our concern about Public Broadcaster’s decisions to hold exit-polls along with private companies”.
The parties discussed pre-election situation at the meeting with the National Forum. As the Deputy-Chair, Temur Maisuradze stated, the parties also compared 2012 and current elections. “We choose elections of European countries as standards as it is our objective instead of thinking about the past. So, our requirements shall be in compliance with European standards”. The PACE OM will also hold the meetings with the CEC Chair, Tamar Zhvania, Interior Minister Giorgi Mgebrishvili and PM, Giorgi Kvirikakshvili.

Meeting with Election Observation Mission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)

Published in Politics
Thursday, 15 September 2016 11:35

Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili held a meeting with the representatives of the Election Observation Mission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The parties discussed electoral environment in the country as well as the ongoing political processes. 
Giorgi Kvirikashvili reasserted the readiness of the Government of Georgia to ensure holding of elections in democratic, free and transparent environment and provide maximum support to the effective activities of the monitoring missions.
"Very important election is ahead of us. The role of the Observation Mission is great in this process. For the purpose of evaluation pre-election environment and elections, Government of Georgia has invited number of international organizations, including: OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, NATO Parliamentary Assembly, European Parliament, Arab League, African Union, International Republic Institute, National Democratic Institute, etc," - Giorgi Kvirikashvili noted.
During the meeting it was noted that within the frames of international observation mission,around 400 observers will monitor the Parliamentary Elections of October 8.
PACE pre-election mission is headed by Emanuelis Zingeris (Lithuania, EPP/CD), Maryvonne Blondin (France, SOC), Jordi Xuclà (Spain, ALDE), IngebjørgGodskesen (Norway, EC) , Andrej Hunko (Germany, UEL), BorissCilevics (Latvia, SOC), co-rapporteur for the monitoring of Georgia, Kerstin Lundgren (Sweden, ALDE), co-rapporteur for the monitoring of Georgia.
PACE also plans to designate a 32-member delegation to Georgia on the election day to observe the voting process. 
Meeting at the Administration of the Government of Georgia was attended by Minister of Justice of Georgia Tea Tsulukiani, Vice Speaker of the Parliament Manana Kobakhidze and deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Gigi Gigiadze.

PACE delegation makes pre-electoral visit to Georgia

Published in Society
Saturday, 10 September 2016 12:55

A seven-member, cross-party delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), led by Emanuelis Zingeris (Lithuania, EPP/CD), will carry out a pre-electoral mission to Georgia on 13-14 September 2016, to assess the election campaign and political climate prior to the parliamentary elections on 8 October.

In Tbilisi, the delegation is due to meet the Speaker of Parliament, the Prime Minister, the Internal Affairs Minister and the Chair of the Central Election Commission, as well as the head of the National Communications Commission.

The delegation will also meet leaders and representatives of parties running in the election, as well as representatives of the media, NGOs and the diplomatic community.
A full 32-member delegation from the Assembly will return to the country to observe the election itself.
The pre-electoral delegation will issue a statement at the end of the visit.

Members of the delegation:

Emanuelis Zingeris (Lithuania, EPP/CD), head of the delegation
Maryvonne Blondin (France, SOC)
Jordi Xuclà (Spain, ALDE)
Ingebjørg Godskesen (Norway, EC)
Andrej Hunko (Germany, UEL)
Boriss Cilevičs (Latvia, SOC), co-rapporteur for the monitoring of Georgia
Kerstin Lundgren (Sweden, ALDE), co-rapporteur for the monitoring of Georgia

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