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Vladimir Lukin steps down as Russia’s human rights ombudsman

February 18, 2014, 10:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Ella Pamfilova is likely to succeed Lukin as ombudsperson
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© ITAR-TASS/Grigory Sysoyev

MOSCOW, February 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Vladimir Lukin steps down as Russia’s human rights ombudsman. His office term formally expires February 18.

Even though I’ve faced human dramas, tragedies and appalling injustices every day over the past ten years, I’ve derived a very positive feeling from my work, especially because we managed to help people in some cases. Vladimir Lukin, Interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta Tuesday, Russia’s State Duma, which has the power to appoint the ombudsman, finishes accepting nominations for this post. The deputies are expected to name a new ombudsman within a month.

Vladimir Lukin was appointed Russia’s ombudsman for human rights the first time by a State Duma resolution passed February 13, 2004. He was reappointed February 18, 2009.

According to the legislation, one cannot occupy this position for more than two terms.

As he summed up his performance in the capacity of the ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin said he was leaving the post “with a sense of gratitude to my destiny.”


Who may succeed Lukin

It is currently not known what precisely the outgoing ombudsman will do after stepping down, but President Vladimir Putin, who had a meeting with him, expressed hope he would continue working for the benefit of society.

“Vladimir Petrovich (Lukin) has a fair experience in this field and a good experience as a diplomat because he was Russia’s Ambassador to the US,” Putin said. “In addition, he has experience in the political sphere as a founder of the Yabloko party and that’s why it would be nice to use his expertise.”

“It might be used with reference to an international aspect of some kind — we’ll think about it anyway,” he said.

Law gives the power to nominate candidates for the ombudsman’s position by the President, the upper house of parliament, parliamentary factions and separate MPs. Ombudsmen are appointed and dismissed by a majority vote in the Duma.

It is too early yet to name the possible candidate to become the next ombudsman. However, chances are big that Ella Pamfilova, chairperson of the all-Russia public movement Grazhdanskoye Dostoinstvo (Civic Dignity), would take this post.

Her candidacy was submitted to the Duma by Putin February 13 after preliminary consultations with human rights community.

The Federation Council, the upper house of parliament has made known it support for Pamfilova. The Duma factions of A Just Russia party and the United Russia party did likewise.

Meanwhile, it is known that the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia plans to vote for the MPs Yelena Afanasyeva, while the Communist Party of the Russian Federation has nominated first deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee for education, Oleg Smolin.

Ella Pamfilova said in an interview with Itar-Tass that if she is appointed Russia’s ombudswoman for human rights, she will “take care of systemic problems of human rights protection and will simultaneously take up concrete practical problems the people will focus her on.”

As a priority she named observance of the Constitution and stressed her intention “to cooperate with everyone interested in defense of human rights.

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