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    Outgoing Russian rights advisor proposes successor (Update 1)

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    The head of the Russian presidential human rights council, Ella Pamfilova, who resigned early on Friday, proposed economist Alexander Auzan as her successor.

    The head of the Russian presidential human rights council, Ella Pamfilova, who resigned early on Friday, proposed economist Alexander Auzan as her successor.

    "I would like to see Alexander Auzan in my place. I think that he is a worthy candidate," Pamfilova told RIA Novosti hours after resigning from the post.

    Pamfilova was appointed the head of the presidential human rights commission, later transformed into a council, in July 2002.

    President Dmitry Medvedev accepted Pamfilova's resignation earlier on Friday.

    Earlier this year, Pamfilova complained that the underdevelopment of basic democratic institutions and widespread corruption are prohibiting the growth of civil society in Russia.

    The independence of the Russian courts is still a "long way away from how it should be," she said, while free elections and political competition are also under question in the country.

    Pamfilova also complained that many Russian politicians neglect those who vote for them in favor of political leaders, saying that the country's political parties are "cut off from people."

    "I am sorry that Ella has made this decision," Auzan said upon hearing about Pamfilova's resignation.

    The decision, however, had not come as a complete surprise, he said.

    "The previous year was very difficult, especially for Ella," he told RIA Novosti.

    He said that what Pamfilova had done for the commission and later for the council during the past eight years "is immense; her qualities are unique."

    Auzan said he had not yet received an invitation to head the council.

    "It is a shock to me... I had absolutely different plans; I am a working professor... I am considering [the issue]," he said.

    Auzan is a PhD in Economics, professor, and head of the Applied Institutional Economics Department at the Faculty of Economics at Moscow State University.

    He was one of the initiators of consumer protection in the Soviet Union.

    He has been a member of the presidential human rights council since 2002.

    MOSCOW, July 30 (RIA Novosti)

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