A new mechanism for forming the residential Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights has been suggested after over a dozen of members quit the body. Now candidates will be selected through internet voting.
"A conference was called at the presidential administration yesterday, at which a new practice was proposed, and we will turn to the public, since the Council deals with civil society development," said the head of the institution, Mikhail Fedotov.
A discussion of new candidates for council members will be opened on the organization’s website from July 1 till August 1. Within that month, any public organizations will be able to propose their nominees for the 13 now vacant positions.
Following that, internet voting will be launched, Fedotov said, adding that any citizen will have a chance to participate in it. A list of 39 candidates will be formed as a result of the internet poll and the president will pick 13 out of them.
“As for my personal attitude towards this new order: why not try that? Let’s do that. But to me it seems questionable, because in this situation the entire team of the Council should be changed,” Fedotov observed.
According to the rights activist, there is a danger that the organization might become unworkable.
Meanwhile, one more Rights Council member has announced their decision to quit:the head of Russia’s oldest human rights organization, the Moscow Helsinki Group, Lyudmila Alekseeva. However, she said she could reconsider her position in case the new mechanism is not approved.
“I’m ready to work in the Council if there won’t be this new supposedly democratic [formation] method, which in fact is sly and is aimed at the elimination of the Council,” Alekseeva told Interfax.
The Council – the presidential advisory body on human rights – originally consisted of 40 members. Its current team was formed back in 2009. However, over a dozen quit it after the December State Duma poll and then Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin.