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Voting rights of Icelandic delegation to PACE suspended

Strasbourg, 30.09.2013 – The voting rights of the Icelandic delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) have been suspended until at least one woman is appointed to the delegation as a Representative, in line with a decision taken by the Assembly at its last session.

However, making the announcement this morning in the debating chamber, PACE President Jean-Claude Mignon also noted: “We have been assured that as of tomorrow the Icelandic delegation will be brought into line with the Assembly’s Rules, when the Icelandic Parliament resumes its work.”

The delegation’s credentials were challenged in June on the ground that it was not in line with the rules on gender balance, which require at least one member of “the under-represented sex” to be appointed as a Representative.

At that time, the Assembly decided to ratify the delegation’s credentials, noting that it had undertaken to comply with the Rules “at the earliest opportunity”, but decided to suspend its voting rights at the beginning of the October session if no woman had been appointed by then.

Under the Assembly’s Rules, the national delegation to PACE must include women members at least in the same percentage as in their parliaments with, at a very minimum, at least one woman appointed as a Representative.