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Challenge on procedural grounds of the still unratified credentials of the parliamentary delegation of Andorra

Resolution 2205 (2018)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 25 January 2018 (8th Sitting) (see Doc. 14475, report of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, Immunities and Institutional Affairs, rapporteur: Ms Petra De Sutter; and Doc. 14481,opinion of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination, rapporteur: Ms Elvira Kovács). Text adopted by the Assembly on 25 January 2018 (8th Sitting).
1. On 22 January 2018, at the opening of the Parliamentary Assembly session, the still unratified credentials of the parliamentary delegation of Andorra were challenged on procedural grounds, in accordance with Rule 7.1 of the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure, on the ground that the delegation comprised no female representative, in violation of Rule 6.2.a of the Rules of Procedure.
2. The credentials of the Andorran delegation were transmitted to the President of the Assembly by letter dated 18 January 2018. On 19 January, a letter from Mr Vicenç Mateu Zamora, Síndic General (Speaker of the Andorran Parliament), sent to the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly, stated that the current composition of the Andorran delegation, approved “following an extraordinary election (on 18 January)”, was the result of “an internal reorganisation of two parliamentary groups” and gave an assurance that the General Council would take “the necessary measures to rectify the composition of the national delegation as soon as possible”.
3. The Parliamentary Assembly reiterates its strong commitment to promoting the balanced representation of women and men in political and public decision making and to applying the principle of gender equality in its internal structures, in particular by encouraging balanced representation of women and men in national delegations. The Assembly also underlines that, in order to achieve genuine equality, the principle of equality should also apply to positions of responsibility. It also refers to its Resolution 2111 (2016) on assessing the impact of measures to improve women’s political representation and reasserts its support for the principle of gender parity as the ultimate goal of political representation.
4. The Assembly therefore finds it regrettable that it must remind national parliaments, through the procedure for challenging delegations’ credentials, of what, nonetheless, is a minimal requirement as regards the representation of women in the Assembly, namely the presence of at least one woman as a representative in each delegation.
5. The Assembly notes that the composition of the Andorran delegation does not fulfil the conditions laid down in Rule 6.2.a of the Rules of Procedure and that its credentials have been legitimately challenged. It notes that the delegation has stated that it undertakes to ensure full compliance with the condition laid down by the Rules of Procedure at the earliest opportunity.
6. Accordingly, the Assembly decides to ratify the credentials of the Andorran parliamentary delegation, but to suspend the voting rights of its members in the Assembly and its bodies in accordance with Rule 10.1.c of the Rules of Procedure, with effect from the beginning of the Assembly’s April 2018 part-session, if the composition of the delegation has not been brought into conformity with Rule 6.2.a of the Rules of Procedure by then – to include, at a very minimum, one member of the under-represented sex as a representative – and until conformity is achieved.