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By John Helmer, Moscow

The US and the UK have claimed that Interpol’s vote yesterday for a retired South Korean policeman to be the new president of the global police organization was a convincing defeat of the Russian candidate who was rejected by a two-thirds majority of Interpol’s member states. “Blow to Russia” headlined the London Guardian.   The US Government’s Voice of America reported the ballot as the defeat of the Russian “front-runner in the race”.   “Russia in surprise loss to South Korea”, the British Government’s BBC claimed.  “Blow to Russia… Decision comes after successful push by western countries to thwart Moscow’s candidate”, trumpeted the Financial Times. This was the fake news.

When the tallies of three rounds of balloting by the 162 members of the General Assembly who cast votes are examined carefully, it is clear the Anglo-American candidate, Kim Jong-Yang,  fell short of a two-thirds majority at every round; that the Russian candidate, Alexander Prokopchuk (lead image, log), started with almost 40% of the vote; and that when all the abstentions and absentees among the member states eligible to vote are counted, the outcome of the election was a split of the Interpol membership almost exactly in half.

It is also clear that the six-week Anglo-American campaign to defeat the Russian because he is Russian was a violation of Article 3 of Interpol’s Constitution.  That says: “It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.”

Interpol has 194 member states; each can cast one vote for the President, the formal but part-time head of the organization, and one for the Director-General, the full-time executive.  Until this week’s annual general assembly of member states in Dubai, there had been 192 members. Two new members, the South Pacific islands of Kiribati and Vanuatu, were approved in the assembly voting on Tuesday by the constitutionally required two-thirds majority. 

Kosovo, the secessionist territory which the US and the NATO alliance created by the 1999 war against Serbia, was defeated in its third application for membership, despite heavy NATO lobbying. The vote for Kosovo, including the US and UK, was 68. Russia voted with Serbia and 49 other member states to defeat Kosovo. Another 16 states officially abstained; 57 absented themselves. In sum, the Anglo-American scheme for Kosovo was defeated by 64% of Interpol’s members. Interpol reported the defeat in a single line;  the Serbian press reported the outcome as a defeat of the US and the European Union (EU).  The EU press reported the outcome as a victory for Serbia. 

The next day, November 21, the vote on the new Interpol president was scheduled.    


Source: https://www.interpol.int/

The election had been forced on October 7 when the Chinese incumbent, Meng Hongwei, a vice minister of public security in Beijing, resigned. A few days earlier he had been recalled from Lyon, the Interpol headquarters, to Beijing; arrested; and charged with corruption. Elected in 2016, Meng’s term had two more years to run.

The Interpol Director-General, a German who defeated the Indian candidate for the post in 2014, named Kim Jong-Yang acting president until an assembly vote could be called for the remaining two years of Meng’s term. At that moment in October Kim was one of four vice presidents on Interpol’s Executive Committee, representing Asia. Alexander Prokopchuk represented Europe; the two other vice presidents represented Africa and the Americas.   Kim had the longest seniority at Interpol. Because the US was flatly opposed to the Russian, and because Asia region representatives have dominated the presidency for the past thirty years, Kim was the front-runner to succeed.

From October 8 to November 21, what happened was that a Russian campaign backed by China, India, and leading states in Africa and South America, demonstrated that  Kim’s vote would add up to little more than 100 – just half Interpol’s membership. The harder the US and NATO governments lobbied the smaller member states, the more reluctant they became to vote at all. Rather than declare that position to the Americans, they planned to absent themselves.

The Russian Interior Ministry, where Prokopchuk (right) holds major-general’s rank, has declined to release  details of the Interpol voting on Wednesday. But Russian press reporting of the three rounds of balloting, together with other sources, indicate that preliminary calculations by the Russian Government were that Prokopchuk’s was a long shot to win, but that he had a better than 50/50 chance to expose the election manipulation by the Americans and British.

The UK press campaign then started with the lie that Prokopchuk was the front-runner and favourite to win. As the New York Times reported the story,  the lie started in the Rupert Murdoch-owned press in London. According to the New York Times, “a report from The Sunday Times in London said that British officials expected Alexander Prokopchuk, 56, a veteran of Russia’s Interior Ministry, to become the next Interpol president. It could not be independently confirmed by The New York Times.” The last line was the truth. The Sunday Times was inventing British government sources and exaggerating Prokopchuk’s support in order to rally enough votes for Kim’s election to appear convincing.  That meant a two-thirds majority.

But Kim didn’t have that at the start of the campaign in October; he didn’t have it at the end, during the November 21 balloting.  There was no two-thirds majority vote for Kim.

The American media amplified what the London press was printing. “If accurate”, Forbes reported  about the London Times claim, “this report raises fundamental questions for all democratic nations in Interpol.” The conditional lie was turned into an innuendo, and then into a definitive conclusion. “Interpol rests on the belief — or the assumption — that its member nations are willing to abide by its rules. If a majority of them vote to elect Prokopchuk, that can only prove they do not care about those rules.”

The Interpol constitution requires voting by a two-thirds majority to accept a new member; lacking that number, Kosovo has failed. The constitution’s Article 16 also requires a two-thirds majority for election of a president. But in a tight race there’s a sudden-death provision:


Source: https://www.interpol.int/

Western press coverage of Kim’s election has claimed he won by a two-thirds majority. He didn’t – and that’s because he failed to win enough votes on the first and second rounds of the balloting.

Interpol’s press office has announced Kim’s election, but omitted all details of the voting. Instead, the release claimed: “The General Assembly democratically elects the President and other Executive Committee members on a ‘one country one vote’ basis with each vote carrying equal weight.”   Just how equal the weight was between votes for Kim and for Prokopchuk depends on the count of abstentions and unexplained non-votes.

For this to be clear,  Interpol’s press office was asked to clarify how many member states actually cast votes in the election; how many votes for Kim; how many for Prokopchuk. The press office doesn’t identify itself by name, telephone number, or email address. Instead, the organization’s website requires journalists to fill in a blank form.  A form asking these questions – how many votes in all, how many for the two candidates, how many non-votes, and how many rounds of voting – was despatched, and receipted.


Source: https://www.interpol.int/

Interpol has refused to answer.

According to The Independent of London, “Mr Kim’s win means he secured at least two-thirds of votes cast at Interpol’s general assembly in Dubai on Wednesday.”  A European internet site, funded by the EU in Brussels,  reported that Kim “needs two-thirds of the 177 Interpol member states which are attending its meeting in Dubai this week to vote for him to win.” 

The actual rounds of voting tell a different story. These are screen shots taken from the general assembly hall during the balloting and published by the Russian internet site, Gazeta.ru.  They were posted originally by Arsen Avakov, the Ukrainian Interior Minister.

In the first round, 162 votes were cast; this represented 84% of the total membership eligible to vote; 34 states did not vote. The US-UK alliance was able to muster 98 for Kim, or 60.5%. Prokopchuk won 64 votes, just short of 40%.

In the second round, the Russian candidacy was gaining, as 154 countries voted and 8 countries dropped out. There were 5 fewer votes for Kim (93); 3 less votes for Prokopchuk (61).  At that point the Russian percentage was almost 40%.

The US-UK campaign had failed to win the two-thirds majority required by Interpol’s election rule. But the constitution forced a final round, to be decided by a simple majority.  

The screen shot shows that in this, the third round, 162 votes were cast, the same aggregate as in Round 1. But this time the returning 8 votes went altogether to Kim. Prokopchuk’s 61 votes remained firm, but by a simple majority they were defeated.

With 162 votes posted, there were 32 eligible votes uncast, uncounted. Add them to Prokopchuk’s 64 in the first round, or 61 in the second and final rounds, and the aggregate against Kim summed to between 93 and 96. The aggregate against Prokopchuk was between 93 and 101.  Out of Interpol’s membership of 194 this outcome was a split decision. The significance has been concealed by Interpol, and by the Anglo-American media.

The Hong Kong newspaper, South China Morning Post,  reported the outcome as political intervention, identifying “the US-backed Kim” as the candidate of “Western nations”. The vote result, according to the Post, was “that Kim Jong-Yang of South Korea had been chosen as its new president, beating a Russian official whose candidacy had unnerved Western nations.”

 

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