PACE are unable to shift Agramunt as Chairman

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenkova in photosangelina Assembly of the Council of Europe. Archival photoPACE are unable to shift Agramunt as Chairman© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenkova the image Bank

PACE (parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) in the summer session, no matter how he tried, but was unable to unseat Pedro Agramunt from the post of President of the Assembly.

On the eve of the PACE summer session most observers were confident that it will be the last for the current President.

The scandal surrounding Agramunt erupted during the April session of PACE, when the MEPs began to criticize the head of the Assembly for its March trip to Syria. MEPs demanded a vote of no confidence Agramunt, but the rules of the organization does not offer mechanisms resignation from elected office. Then the authorized body of the PACE Bureau has banned Agramunt to make statements and to participate in trips on behalf of the Assembly.

Large maneuvers

The Assembly for the first time in history decided to change its core document of the Regulations to include provision for the removal of the President from office. Before to leave post in PACE was only possible on their own.

In the last day of the spring session of the Bureau requested the head of the Commission’s rules, to prepare a draft instrument to amend the regulations of the Assembly and to develop a procedure for the removal of speaker from office.

At the meeting of the Bureau at the beginning of the summer session, the number of parliamentarians tried unsuccessfully to achieve exception report with proposals for amendments to the rules of the agenda — they did not have a single vote.

On Tuesday, PACE voted for the resolution with the amendments to the regulations, allowing you to begin the process of dismissal of the President of the Assembly. The PACE seemed not enough, and the next day Poligraph Agramunt in the Assembly expelled him from its membership. From this point Agramunt became an independent MP, a member of the Spanish delegation and its national party.

Appearing in the beginning of the session, he was absent during the week in Strasbourg. Through his representative Agramunt reported on consultations with lawyers on the situation.

Something went wrong…

Since the vote on Tuesday, all were sure that this day will be included parliamentarians signed a motion to dismiss Agramunt from office.

In an interview with RIA Novosti MEPs said with confidence that it will soon be made to, for example, on Thursday already to vote on the final removal of the President from office. However, the document was not made nor Tuesday, nor Wednesday, nor Thursday. And it soon became clear that this session of PACE, as if neither wanted, but will not be able to smesite its Chairman.

The part of deputies is explained by the fact that the introduction of motions under the new rules can occur only once for one candidate, and we have to prepare. Other honestly admitted that the majority of MEPs left as soon as voted in many elections in their countries.

«In October, the session will succeed, although I must admit that the process goes from April «, — assured RIA Novosti one of the MPs.

However, in October the process of removal will look a bit strange: Agramunt upcoming session and so last presidency. Next year will expire of its two-year mandate, and the PACE January session will choose a new leader.

Russian trace

Despite the fact that the Russian delegation is not involved in the work of the summer session, «Russian theme» one way or another touched on during almost every discussion.

Russia’s relations with the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in the last few years has deteriorated. PACE in 2014 and 2015, adopted a number of resolutions because of the position of the Russian Federation in Crimea, in which he deprived the Russian delegation of the right to vote in sessions, to participate in the work of statutory bodies, the right to participate in the monitoring activities of the organization.

In 2016, Russia took the decision not to send for the necessary delegation documents at the same time Moscow continued to work with the Council of Europe. In 2017, the Russian side decided not to send the documents for accreditation of its delegation to the PACE.

In early June, the speaker of the state Duma Vyacheslav Volodin has informed that Moscow will not list a third of its total contribution for the year 2017 in the amount of 11 million euros to the Council of Europe, including spending on PACE.

While the Russian foreign Ministry stressed that Moscow will continue to work in the Council of Europe, including to fulfill the obligations of various conventions, despite the decision to suspend the payment of contribution for membership in the organization for 2017. In a message posted on the website of the Russian foreign Ministry, said that the payment of the contribution is suspended until the unconditional restoration of full powers of delegation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in PACE.

At the summer session of Parliament, despite the absence of Russia that talked about Moscow in the context of the failure to its decisions of the Strasbourg court, said that the situation with Agramunt «originated from the fact that he flew to Syria on Russian plane»(only two members of Parliament felt that the reason for the scandal was the loss of confidence in the head of the PACE). In this case, MPs do not hesitate to ask each representative of the Council of Europe, «what will happen to our budget if the Russians will not pay?» and «how to punish them because they don’t want to pay?»

As joked in an interview with RIA Novosti, one of the MEPs «it is impossible here to forget about Russia.»

PACE are unable to shift Agramunt as Chairman© RIA Novosti, Infographicsrussia Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)