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MOSCOW, September 1 (Itar-Tass) —— The official website of Russia’s presidential council for the development of civil society and human rights is beginning public consultations over likely candidates for vacant seats on that consultative body.
This year saw the launch of a new procedure of forming the presidential council for human rights. As a source in the presidential staff said earlier, the council’s current statute has a certain flaw. Candidates are presented to the president for approval by the council’s chairman, but the selection mechanism is not described. The council’s chief, Mikhail Fedotov, was advised to ask non-governmental organizations to declare a campaign of selecting nominees for vacant seats on the council (currently there are thirteen of them) and then to propose them for public discussion in the Internet. “This is not an election procedure, far from that,” the source said. “It is a mechanism of public consultations. Internet users will be asked to participate in a poll to answer the question to what extent they support this or that candidate or see him as a member of the council in charge of this or that theme.”
On July 9 the human rights council published on its website new rules of candidates’ nomination. The candidates can be named by non-governmental organizations (except for political parties and religious organizations) involved in human rights activity or the promotion of civil society for no less than five years, Russia’s human rights commissioner, human rights commissioners in Russia’s regions and the council’s members. The candidates are to be over 21 years of age, have Russian citizenship and a previous record of work in the given field of activity for a period of no less than three years.
Internet consultations will be anonymous. Each Internet user will have the right to express an opinion regarding one candidate once. The on-line results of consultations will be available on the human rights council’s official website.
The consultations will last for fifteen days. The results will be summarized within a fifteen-day deadline. The human rights council, Mikhail Fedotov, will then report to the president the results of the Internet discussion and the proposed candidates – no less than three in each nomination.