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President to approve candidates nominated for Council for Human Rights

November 01, 2012, 14:29 UTC+3

Head of the Council Mikhail Fedotov familiarized the president with the 86 candidates, selected on a competitive basis, who will compete 13 vacant seats

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NOVO-OGARYOVO, November 1 (Itar-Tass) — Head of the Presidential Council for Development of Civil Society and Human Rights Mikhail Fedotov has submitted a list of candidates nominated for the renewed Council. At a working meeting with the president on Thursday Fedotov familiarized the president with the 86 candidates, selected on a competitive basis, who will compete 13 vacant seats in the Council.

The recent Internet rating voting held on September 1-15 showed that maximum 108,000 candidates have applied for membership in the Council; the number of respondents who took part in the Internet voting was 420,000,Fedotov said.

"The population showed a great interest in this procedure, which confirmed that the population expect all those who will be elected to the Council to make a tangible contribution to settlement of problems, for which the Council was convened and continues to work," Putin said.

The new Internet voting procedure enabled to organize the process of rotation in a maximum effective way, Fedotov told the president. We specified that every vacant seat should cover the activities of a definite profile, for instance such as a prison reform, police reform, judicial reform, reform of migration politics or defense of human rights in the North Caucasus, or international aspects of human rights defense, Fedotov explained.

The Council should incorporate people who are not only concerned about the human rights situation in Russia, but also realize the essence of the problem,he said. Otherwise, we might have had popular artists, sportsmen and TV hosts in the Council, he noted.

Only members of the Council, human rights ombudsmen and NGO organizations which deal with similar problems for five years at least are entitled to nominate the candidates. Now, we have 86 candidates competing 13 seats, Fedotov said. "I think it was a worthy competition in line with university standards," he added.

The Council numbers 38 members all in all, who are endorsed by the Russian president. Earlier, some members of the Council had resigned for different reasons, and as a result, the Council has 13 vacant seats now.

New members of the Council will be appointed according to a new procedure. Head of the Council Mikhail Fedotov was instructed to launch a campaign among public organizations with the aim of collecting proposals on the nomination of candidates for the vacant seats, dividing the vacancies according to concrete aspects of human rights activities. Then, the proposals were put on the Internet for a broad public discussion.

The Kremlin praised the advantages of this procedure "which arouses interest in the Council and does not let its critics accuse the Council of a closed character of its activities in lobbies and clubs. Besides, it enables to take a sample of public opinion, and lets the Council members take a look at the second and third generations of human rights activists who share their views and will replace them in future. This is a gear of measuring one's support in the society, rather than a mere voting," a Kremlin source said.

The new rules of nomination of candidates for the Council were released on the website of the Council on July 9. The rules envisage that NGO structures which activities were concentrated on human rights activities for five years, human rights ombudsmen on territories of the Russian Federation and members of the Council may nominate candidates who should be over 21 years old, have Russian citizenship and a three-year experience of work in a corresponding nomination.

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