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Senate speaker says Russia backs Mexican candidate for IPU presidency

July 07, 2017, 15:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian members of parliament are ready to support Mexico’s candidate for the presidency of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

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MOSCOW, July 7. /TASS/. Russian members of parliament are ready to support Mexico’s candidate for the presidency of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said at a meeting with head of Mexico's Senate Foreign Relations Committee Gabriela Cuevas Barron.

Matviyenko emphasized the fact that the Mexican senator was visiting Russia not only as a representative of her country but also as a candidate for the IPU presidency. "We know you as an experienced lawmaker and a politician whose views on global issues are similar to Russia’s," Matviyenko said. According to her, preparations are underway for the 137th IPU Assembly, scheduled to be held in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, as well as for the IPU presidential election. The Russian senator noted that the Latin American group had nominated representatives of Mexico and Uruguay for the position of the IPU president.

"There is a good chance that a representative of Latin America will be elected… According to the IPU Charter, candidates can be nominated until the very voting, which is scheduled for October. We have been receiving signals from our counterparts, but it would be better if the Latin American group nominated a single candidate," Matviyenko pointed out.

In this connection, she noted that she would like to discuss the matter with the Mexican senator. According to her, it would be good if a woman occupied this position because since the Union was established in 1889, a woman took the helm of it only once. "Taking into account your political and parliamentary background, there is every chance that you will be elected. Your charisma and charm will be very important, as far as voting goes," Matviyenko added.

She also said that the power balance would become clear when the Assembly drew closer, "but Russian parliament members have good feelings for you and we would like to support you." "If two candidates from Latin America will struggle with each other, it will be a normal thing, but that could weaken their positions," the Russian senate speaker said.

The Inter-Parliamentary Union, established in 1889, is the world’s oldest and one of the most influential and credible international parliamentary organizations. The IPU is an informal "parliamentary equivalent" of the UN. The Union comprises 170 countries, while 11 inter-parliamentary organizations are associate members of the IPU. The IPU president’s term is four years.

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