Rules Committee condemns a kind of imperative mandate for certain members

In a unanimously adopted report, the Committee on Rules of Procedure expresses its deep concern at the serious infringements of the independence and freedom of expression of some of its members or former members, who have been the target of disguised sanctions on the part of their parliament or their national political party.

It condemns a kind of “imperative mandate” operating in parliamentary institutions through the threat of suspension or expulsion from one’s political party or group, in which the pressure placed on parliamentarians leads them to resign or face sanctions.

On the basis of the report on the nature of the mandate of members of the Parliamentary Assembly prepared by Natasa Vuckovic, the committee also condemns certain irregularities within national delegations, in which the rules of procedure of national parliaments appear to have served either as a legal front for measures imposing a disguised sanction founded on a political motive, where delegation members are replaced on the pretext of individual resignations, or as a means of restricting travel or preventing the participation of a delegation member in an Assembly part-session or committee meeting.

The committee points out that the Assembly members exercise their mandates freely and independently and may not be bound by any instructions from their delegation, their national political party or their political group in the Assembly; they express their opinions freely, whether through their statements, speeches or votes.

The report will be discussed at the PACE summer session (Strasbourg, 20-24 June 2016).