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On 1 October 2014, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted a Resolution about Georgia. On 3 October, member of the Parliamentary Minority, Giorgi Vashadze, stated whilst a guest of the talk show, Reaktsia,

that the Resolution, adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, represented the common position of its member political subjects.

FactCheck

took interest in Giorgi Vashadze’s statement and verified its accuracy.

The Parliamentary Assembly is the second-most important legislative body of the Council of Europe. The activities of the Parliamentary Assembly include addressing the problems of modern society and various aspects of international politics. The Parliamentary Assembly reviews the materials provided by the sectoral committees in the following directions:  political issues, legal issues and human rights protection, territorial structure and local government, economic and development issues, migration, and refugee and demographic issues, etc. The members of the Parliamentary Assembly provide their national parliaments with the respective information, influencing their own governments. The national parliaments elect 318 members of the Parliamentary Assembly from their own composition.

Currently, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is staffed with five main political groups:  the European People’s Party (EPP), Socialist Group, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), European Democrat Group and the Unified European Left Group. Independent deputies form a separate faction.

On 2 October, the approved Resolution about Georgia was published on the website of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in which, along with the democratic achievements attained in Georgia, political polarisation and politically motivated or selective justice are rated negatively.

The Resolution, adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, created different assessments within the Georgian political arena. According to the members of the ruling coalition, the Resolution does not represent the position of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the United National Movement managed to adopt it only with the support of the European People’s Party. As the Prime Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili, stated, the United National Movement used the support of its allies – the EPP – in the framework of the Parliamentary Assembly and disregarded Georgia in this process: “The record about Akhalaia and Saakashvili does not seem alarming to me. This is one more attempt of the United National Movement to fight against its own state and its own population. This is a continuation of the policy that they have been pursuing for years. There is nothing new about it. This is the expression of the political parties. They picture it as if it were a call from the Council of Europe… I once again repeat that our Government has not left any unanswered question concerning any topic. The process is absolutely transparent.”

In total, 103 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe supported the Resolution about Georgia, 27 voted against and eight deputies abstained. Of note is that 25 members of the Socialist Group, 48 members of the EPP, 12 members of the ALDE, 13 members of the European Democrat Group, one member of the Unified European Left Group and four independent deputies voted for adopting the Resolution. Seven members of the Socialist Group and one member of the ALDE abstained from voting. Those voting against comprised 18 members of the Socialist Group, two members of the EPP, two members of the ALDE, three members of the European Democrat Group and two members of the Unified European Left Group.

Conclusion

The Resolution, adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 2 October 2014, concerns the progress that has hitherto been achieved in Georgia although the Parliamentary Assembly does express its concern about the ongoing trials against former senior officials, selective justice and the polarised political arena.

In total, 138 members of the Council of Europe participated in the adoption of the Resolution about Georgia. The majorities of all the factions, represented in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, voted for the Resolution. Of note is that persons who are the members of the Georgian Dream coalition are also members of the Socialist Group and the ALDE. The majorities of the both factions voted for the Resolution. The delegates from the Georgian Dream, who had the right to vote, voted against the Resolution.

FactCheck concludes that Giorgi Vashadze’s statement:  “Representatives of absolutely all of the factions voted for this Resolution (the Resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe),” is TRUE.

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