PARIS, January 28. /TASS/. Pyotr Tolstoy, head of Russia’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, has been elected PACE Vice President.
A total of 252 out of the 321 PACE lawmakers took part in Tuesday’s voting. As many as 132 delegates supported Tolstoy’s candidacy, 117 voted against, and three ballots were recognized as invalid.
"Our work within the Council of Europe could not be seen as full-fledged and comprehensive until today," Tolstoy told journalists after the voting. "Now we have a possibility to influence the agenda."
"We are here to defend Russia’s position, interests and rights of our citizens, defend our principles and values," he stressed. "All members of our delegation deserve credit for everything we have achieved within PACE after our return last summer."
"I am convinced we will make our contribution to the Council of Europe’s future," he added.
Earlier in the day, the majority of delegates to the PACE winter session supported Tolstoy’s candidature in the first round of voting, which was not enough as under the assembly’s rule of procedure a candidate wins in the first round in case he or she scores more than a half of positive votes of the overall number of PACE delegates. Simple majority of those taking part in the voting is needed to win in the second round.