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    PRESIDENT PUTIN PROPOSES NEW HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONER

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    MOSCOW, February 4, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Vladimir Putin has proposed that State Duma appoint Vladimir Lukin human rights commissioner in the Russian Federation.

    As RIA Novosti was told at the Kremlin press office, President Putin nominated Mr. Lukin for ombudsman in compliance with the federal Law "On the Human Rights Commissioner in the Russian Federation."

    Vladimir Lukin is 66 years old. He holds a doctor of history degree from the History department of V.I. Lenin Moscow State Pedagogical Institute. Mr. Lukin was the Russian ambassador to the United States from February 1992 to September 1993.

    Mr. Lukin was one of the founders of the Yabloko party and a Yabloko deputy in the three convocations of the State Duma. In the third convocation of the State Duma he was deputy speaker.

    The human rights commissioner has a five year term.

    The present human rights commissioner, Oleg Mironov has held this post since 1998 and has been the temporary commissioner since May 2003, when his term ended, because the State Duma has not selected a replacement.

    According to the federal Law "On the Human Rights Commissioner in the Russian Federation," candidates for human rights commissioner must be Russian citizens over 35 years old and, "have knowledge of human rights and freedoms and experience protecting them."

    For a candidate to be confirmed as human rights commissioner, the person must receive a constitutional majority of votes in the State Duma - 300 votes.

    The president, members of the Federation Council and members of the State Duma have the right to nominate a candidate for ombudsman.

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