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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kokh Elected to Parliament

Alfred Kokh, the former general director of Gazprom-Media who led the takeover of NTV television last year, was named a member of the Federation Council on Tuesday. He will represent the Leningrad region in the upper house.

Kokh was elected by the regional legislature, receiving 29 of the 45 votes cast, Interfax reported. Twelve deputies voted for Oleg Safonov, security advisor to the regional governor, and four voted against both men, the report said.

Kokh told the deputies that one of his priorities in Moscow will be to promote development of the Leningrad region's transportation infrastructure, particularly the ports on the Baltic Sea.

"I want Russia to profit from our ports on the Baltic rather than having the income go to the Baltic states," he was quoted as saying.

Leningrad region Governor Valery Serdyukov expressed surprise at the choice of Kokh, but said he had the ability to serve the region well, Interfax said.

Kokh said he supports the positions of Unity and the Union of Right Forces.

After receiving his doctorate in economics in 1987, Kokh worked with Anatoly Chubais in implementing an ambitious privatization program in St. Petersburg. This put him in place to play a leading role in the national privatization program when it got under way in 1993.

Disgraced after the 1997 Svyazinvest sale, Kokh disappeared from the public eye until he was appointed to head Gazprom's media arm in 2000. He resigned the post last October.