Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 19 May 2019

South Korean Kim Jong-yang elected as Interpol president

Mr Kim's election in Dubai is a blow to Russia, who hoped to elect one of their own

Interpol has elected South Korean Kim Jong-yang as their new president, defeating a controversial Russian candidate with ties to the Kremlin.

Mr Kim was elected for a two-year term at the annual General Assembly, which is being held in Dubai this year. He has been acting Interpol president since the arrest of his predecessor this year.

Mr Kim won 60.5 per cent of the vote, winning 98 votes to Russian candidate Alexander Prokopchuk's 64 votes.

An Emirati police officer was also elected to the executive council of Interpol, thought to be the first appointment of its kind.

UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted his congratulations to the police officer, praising the country's contribution to the international community.

“We congratulate Major General Nasser Al Raisi for his election as a member of the Interpol executive committee," he said, adding, "the Emirati experts are participating in the international organizations with all competence and their success is a reflection of UAE’s success.”

A Russian official was expected to be elected as president, but concerns by some over the nominee's closeness to Russian President Vladimir Putin led to a strong opposition to the nomination.

Mr Prokopchuk, a general in the Russian interior ministry, was one of two nominees for the role.

Ukraine and Lithuania threatened to pull out of the organisation if Mr Prokopchuk was elected as president.

Russia has been criticised for its use of red notices – a mechanism for catching international criminals – over accusations it has been using them with political motivations.

The United Kingdom's Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt welcomed the election of Mr Kim.

The UK and US reportedly launched a last-minute lobbying attempt to stop the election of Mr Prokopchuk, according to The Times of London.

The election was triggered after the apparent arrest of Mr Kim's predecessor, Meng Hongwei, on corruption charges in his home country of China.

Mr Meng disappeared on a trip to China in September and resigned as head of the organisation after China announced he was under investigation.


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Updated: November 21, 2018 04:19 PM