[home page][map of the server][news of the server][forums][publications][Yabloko's Views]

Kommersant, February 12, 2004

A Human for Rights
Vladimir Lukin will become the new ombudsman

By Viktor Khamrayev

The post of human rights ombudsman is a constitutional post. It therefore takes a constitutional majority in the Duma – 300 legislators - to elect the ombudsman.

The pro-presidential United Russia faction controls 308 votes. This situation guaranteed Vladimir Lukin's election as ombudsman, even though the Yabloko party he represents is United Russia's ideological antagonist.

The current ombudsman, Oleg Mironov, is not giving up without afight. He will nominate himself in the Duma, even though the Communist faction does not guarantee support.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR), may also decide to run for ombudsman.

Alexei Mitrofanov, deputy leader of the LDPR faction, was extremely critical of Lukin's nomination by the President. "Lukin is a career diplomat. What does his experience have to do with human rights?" Mitrofanov demanded. "He spends 260 days a year on trips abroad. What if he decides to use the ombudsman's resources for these travels? Maybe the Kremlin wants its ombudsman to be always on the road. What we need is a real defender of human rights. People from the Caucasus are being beaten up on the streets in Russia. Where is the ombudsman? Some army conscripts were hospitalized with pneumonia and worse. Where is the ombudsman?"

Lukin himself, the Kremlin's candidate, who had a personal audience with the president a week ago, has declined to comment. Other Yabloko functionaries were not so reticent.

Yabloko deputy leader Sergei Mitrokhin says the party will "support" Lukin because the human rights situation in Russia "is something else" and "a great deal still needs to be done."

Sergei Ivanenko, another deputy leader of Yabloko, considers Putin's choice symbolic. "This decision clearly shows the importance the President attaches to the Yabloko party," Ivanenko said. All the same, the President’s attention does not mean that Lukin the ombudsman must be loyal to the regime, added Ivanenko.

Like Igor Artemiev of Yabloko, who will allegedly soon be appointed deputy minister for economic development, Lukin will be another representative of the Yabloko party in the state structures. This is in line with Putin's promise to make use of Yabloko's personnel resources.


Kommersant, February 12, 2004

[home page][map of the server][news of the server][forums][publications][Yabloko's Views]

Project Director: Vyacheslav Erohin e-mail: admin@yabloko.ru Director: Olga Radayeva, e-mail: english@yabloko.ru
Administrator: Vlad Smirnov, e-mail: vladislav.smirnov@yabloko.ru