MOSCOW, January 16. /ITAR-TASS/. A group of Russian human rights activists sent a formal request to the government calling for reelection of the human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, for a third term.
“We are not only asking to nominate Vladimir Lukin for another five-year term but also to initiate a bill lifting a ban from third term nomination for the chief of the human rights ombudsman office in Russia. This office is based exquisitely on moral ideals and does not presume power functions, so our suggestion is not against the current Constitution”, says the paper signed by the activists, the leader of the non-governmental Moscow Helsinki Watch Group, Lyudmila Alexeyeva, director of the movement For Human Rights Lev Ponomarev, activist Valeriy Borshchev and the founder of Citizen’s Assistance group Svetlana Gannushkina among others.
Moreover, the activists are asking to be especially cautious when considering a candidate for a third term. In this respect, a candidate should not only be included in the ballot list, but also nominated only by a two-thirds majority in parliament. Such high standards are aimed to emphasize the special social support for the candidate.
The new ombudsman is to be elected by Russia’s lower house of parliament State Duma till March 18, i.e. within a month after all candidates have been nominated for the office. Russia’s Duma first appointed Vladimir Lukin human rights ombudsman on February 13, 2004. He was then reelected for another five-year term on February 18, 2009.