A number of prominent Russian human rights activists interviewed by Interfax share the view that Vladimir Lukin is the best candidate for the office of human rights commissioner, which is to become vacant with Ella Pamfilova's appointment as a Central Elections Commission member.
"Lukin is an ideal human rights commissioner," Lyudmila Alexeyeva, the chairperson of the Moscow Helsinki Group, told Interfax on March 5.
"Lukin is a statesman, I do not always agree with his judgments, but he is an absolutely decent man. He is a democrat, and he is able to defend his principles," Alexeyeva said.
Lukin has a record of diplomatic service and great experience as a federal human rights commissioner, she said.
"The best trait of Lukin is that he honestly performs his duties in the human rights field and at the same time is capable of maintaining good relations with the authorities," Alexeyeva said.
She also said she hoped the Central Elections Commission would be trusted more with Pamfilova on board.
Lev Ponomaryov, the leader of the movement For Human Rights, agreed with Alexeyeva that Lukin as the federal human rights commissioner would be acceptable both to the Russian leadership and civil society.
"Vladimir Petrovich Lukin would be an ideal option," Ponomaryov told Interfax on Saturday.
"There are not so many people in this country whom human rights defenders trust and who can find a common language with the administration. There are only three of them, namely Ella Pamfilova, [head of the presidential Human Rights Council] Mikhail Fedotov, and Vladimir Lukin. A compromise figure is extremely necessary. This is Lukin. Among all possible candidates, he is simply unique," Ponomaryov said.
President Vladimir Putin had signed a decree on Thursday to appoint Alexander Kinev, Vasily Likhachyov, Ella Pamfilova, Yevgeny Shevchenko, and Boris Ebzeyev as new Central Elections Commission members.
Pamfilova took over as human rights commissioner from Lukin in 2014.
Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov refrained on Friday from answering whom President Putin might nominate for human rights commissioner instead of Pamfilova.
"I can't say yet; when there is the nomination, we will report this," Peskov told journalists.
He admitted that a number of candidates "have been certainly considered, but the decision rests with the president."
"We never announce this," Peskov added.
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