Russia loses Interpol presidency vote

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Dubai, Nov 22 (IANS) Interpol has elected South Korean Kim Jong-yang as its president, rejecting the controversial Russian frontrunner.

Kim was chosen by Interpol’s 194 member states at a meeting of its annual congress in Dubai, BBC reported on Wednesday.

He beat Russia’s Alexander Prokopchuk, who has been accused of using Interpol’s arrest warrant system to target critics of the Kremlin.

Russia blamed the outcome of the voting on “unprecedented pressure and interference”.

The election follows the disappearance of Interpol’s former president Meng Hongwei, who vanished on a trip to China in September. Beijing has since confirmed he has been detained and is being investigated for allegedly taking bribes.

Kim, 57, beat Prokopchuk, also 57, by 101 votes to 61 at Interpol’s General Assembly meeting on Wednesday, media reports say.

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Interpol confirmed the South Korean’s victory, without revealing the breakdown of the results.

Kim is a former South Korean police officer who once served as head of police in Gyeonggi, the country’s most populous province.

He was already senior vice-president of Interpol and had been serving as acting president since Mr Meng’s disappearance. He will serve out the remaining two years of Meng’s term.

Moscow said Prokopchuk would remain an Interpol vice-president representing Europe and “focus on strengthening the position of Interpol in the international police community and increasing the efficiency of the organisation’s work”.

–IANS

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