The Slovenia Times

Klemenčič withdraws from CoE Human Rights Commissioner race


In the first round of voting in the CoE Parliamentary Assembly yesterday, Klemenčič received 67 votes of support, placing behind Mijatović (76) and Pierre-Yves le Borgn' from France (105).

In a letter to the assembly, Klemenčič called on the members of the assembly who backed him in the first round to back Mijatović today, arguing that "the time has come for the next Commissioner to come from the more southern European region".

Noting that it seemed Mijatović and he had "worked in contradiction to each other, which is undesirable" in the first round, Klemenčič stressed that he could "fully subscribe to the values expressed and the vision offered by the candidate".

The minister also said Mijatović was very suited to become the commissioner and to "serve as the first woman European Commissioner for Human Rights".

In another statement, he stressed that his decision to back the Bosnian candidate was in no way political or in opposition to the French candidate.

Klemenčič said he had always seen the government decision to put him forward as a commissioner candidate "an honour and recognition" of his work in human rights.

Touching on the smear campaign in which he has been portrayed as a human rights violator in a letter and video circulated to the Parliamentary Assembly, the minister said that "political relationships and the support of the home country are just as important as professional competence."

"Sadly, unlike France and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia has once again proved that we have not achieved the required level of democratic maturity to endorse our candidate as one," he said.

The new commissioner will replace incumbent Nils Muižnieks on 1 April.


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