Interpol presidency vote: Russia in surprise loss to South Korea

Dubai- Interpol has elected South Korean Kim Jong-yang as its president, rejecting Russian frontrunner who had been accused of abusing the international police body’s arrest warrant system.

Mr Kim was the preferred choice by Interpol’s 194 member states, during a meeting of its annual congress in Dubai.

He defeated Alexander Prokopchuk, who reportedly was expected to win the vote.

However the tide turn when suspicion rose that Prokopchuk would use the role to target critics of Russia’s President Putin.

Moscow said Mr Prokopchuk would continue to serve as an Interpol vice-president and help strengthen the organisation’s “position in the international police community”.

The Kremlin fought back, saying the claims were a “campaign aimed at discrediting” the Russian candidate.

The new president follows the disappearance of Interpol’s former president Meng Hongwei, he vanished during a trip to China in September.

Beijing cleared the air when they confirmed that they had detained Hongwei, because he is being investigated for allegedly taking bribes.

Kim, 57, is a former South Korean police officer, he once served as head of police in Gyeonggi, the country’s most populous province.

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

But an Interpol president is largely ceremonial role, the daily tasks are handle by Secretary-General J├╝rgen Stock, but the presidency does have influence.

After his election, Kim said,”Our world is now facing unprecedented changes which present huge challenges to public security and safety.

“To overcome them, we need a clear vision: we need to build a bridge to the future.”

Photo credit- BBC

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