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    RUSSIAN SENATOR BELIEVES LUKIN TO BE "THE RIGHT MAN" FOR OMBUDSMAN

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    MOSCOW, February 13, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Chairman of the international committee of the Federation Council [the upper chamber of the Russian parliament], PACE deputy chairman Mikhail Margelov believes that Vladimir Lukin is "the right man" for the post of ombudsman.

    "He began as a rights advocate, was one of the well-known 1960s figures," Margelov said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Friday. He believes that Lukin's new post will give him "a lot of work because the situation with human rights in this country is far from perfect".

    The renewed Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly "will be a good support for the ombudsman's work", the Senator pointed out. He expects that the new Russian human rights commissioner will have "to work actively within the PACE and not only on the Chechen dossier".

    Vladimir Lukin was appointed human rights commissioner in the Russian Federation on Friday. At the State Duma's plenary session his appointment was supported by 333 MPs, with the minimum requirement set by the law On the Human Rights Commissioner in the Russian Federation being 300 votes. Four deputies voted against and one abstained.

    The human rights commissioner in Russia is elected for five years. The term of office of former ombudsman Oleg Mironov who held the post from 1998 expired back in May 2003. In June the State Duma failed to elect a new ombudsman out of eight candidates and Mironov held the office as acting commissioner.

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