International police body Interpol elected Kim Jong-yang of South Korea as president for a two-year term, beating a Russian national whose candidacy raised concerns in Europe and the United States about the risk of Kremlin interference.
Interpol’s 194 member states, meeting in Dubai for their annual congress, elected Kim to succeed China’s Meng Hongwei, who disappeared in September and later resigned after Chinese authorities said he was being investigated for suspected bribery.
Interpol said on Twitter that Kim, who had been serving as acting president, had been elected for a two-year term. The body’s presidency, a largely ceremonial role, is typically held for four years.
Day-to-day work is handled by Secretary-General Jurgen Stock of Germany, but the presidency still commands influence. The candidacy of Alexander Prokopchuk of Russia, a police major-general and one of Interpol’s four vice-presidents, led to concern in Europe and the United States about the possibility of Russia being able to exploit Interpol’s power.