CoE Backs Restoring Russia's Voting Rights

CoE Backs Restoring Russia's Voting Rights
Fecha de publicación: 
26 June 2019
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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has voted on Tuesday in favor of restoring Russia's voting right, five years after they were revoked over its illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

After nine-hour debates and multiple voting amendments, the Council of Europe (CoE) said the assembly affirmed its members' rights to vote, to speak and to be represented in the assembly and its bodies. The assembly voted 118 in favor and 62 against, with 10 abstentions.

Concerning this new measure, the Russian PMs return on Tuesday to the PACE.

Before PACE plenary session, the outgoing CoE Secretary-General, Thorbjorn Jagland, referred to the need for that body to hold an innovative character, through dialogue and not confrontation.

CoE, along with its sister institution, the European Court of Human Rights, is tasked with promoting human rights and the rule of law in its 47 European member states.

Its decisions are not binding, but it issues some recommendations or asks governments for human rights and democracy.

In April 2014, PACE deprived Moscow of its voting right, in violation of its own statutes, in response to the Crimean split from Kiev and its annexation to Russia, following the March 2014 referendum, in which over 96 percent of voters favored to be part of Russia.

After this measure was taken, the Kremlin stopped sending its parliamentary delegation in 2016, and a year later suspended its fee payments, waiting for their rights to be fully restored.

To make Russia's return possible, PACE adopted a document that exceptionally allows a nation to be represented by a delegation throughout the year, and it also excludes the possibility of depriving it of its main voting rights.

The Vice President of the Russian Parliament, Piotr Tolstoy, reported that Moscow, before the voting result was known, sent its delegation to Strasbourg on Monday.

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