GD members of the Georgian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) were notably absent from the Assembly’s key resolution votes on recognizing the Holodomor in Ukraine as a genocide and designating Russia as a dictatorship.
On October 12 the PACE voted to recognize the Great Ukrainian Famine of 1932-1933 (the Holodomor) as “an act of genocide intended to break the backbone of Ukrainian nationhood, language, and culture, and commemorates its victims.”
The resolution also condemned Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and encouraged “the parliaments of Council of Europe member States and other parliaments which have not yet done so to adopt resolutions commemorating the victims of the Holodomor, and recognizing it as a genocide.”
73 members of PACE voted in favor, while there was only one against and one abstention.
On the following day, on October 13, Georgian Dream members of the PACE also did not attend the Assembly’s vote on "Examining the legitimacy and legality of the ad hominem term-limit waiver for the incumbent President of the Russian Federation" resolution, calling European countries to recognize Vladimir Putin's government as illegitimate if he wins the 2024 elections.
"The overwhelming power of the President resulting from the extremely long term in office combined with the lack of any checks and balances such as a strong parliament, an independent judiciary, free media, and a vibrant civil society has turned the Russian Federation into a de facto dictatorship," the resolution reads.
The only Georgian representative, out of the total five, supporting both resolutions was Ketevan Turazashvili from the Citizens Party.
Irakli Chikovani, head of the GD delegation at PACE said some of the Assembly members from GD were serving as election observers in Poland and were busy for “other commitments.”
“We had various commitments, including the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, elections in Poland, and our representatives are there, and I had other commitments that I have here… I will not prioritize our actions with you,” Mr Chikovani told the journalists.
When asked about Russia's dictatorship by SOVA news, Mr Chikhovani said that "there are problems related to the full functioning of democracy in Russia".
Georgian deputies’ absence is widely viewed as another stroke in Georgian Dream’s confrontational stance towards Ukraine and warming relations with Moscow.