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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Ousted Moscow mayor explains why he won't appeal dismissal

RIA Novosti

03:46 04/10/2010

MOSCOW, October 4 (RIA Novosti) - Ex-Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov has named the reason why he will not appeal his dismissal in the Russian Supreme Court.

"I don't believe the Supreme Court can make a ruling contradicting the presidential decree [on the dismissal]," the Newsru.com website quoted Luzhkov as telling Russian magazine The New Times.

President Dmitry Medvedev fired Luzhkov, who had been mayor for more than 18 years, on September 28, citing "loss of confidence." The decision came after an unprecedented smear campaign by state-backed TV, accusing Luzhkov of negligence, callousness and corruption.

The Kremlin had reportedly given 74-year-old Luzhkov the opportunity to resign on his own before he was given the ax, but he had refused to.

Commentators say Medvedev's sacking of Luzhkov, formerly one of the most powerful politicians in Russia, may have been a bid to boost his authority ahead of the 2012 presidential elections.

Relations between the long-serving Moscow mayor and Medvedev are believed to have soured after a September article by Luzhkov in the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta hinted at criticism of the leadership tandem of Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

According to some reports, the Kremlin was also angered by Luzhkov's opposition to Medvedev's decision to halt the construction of a controversial highway to St. Petersburg cutting through a forest north of Moscow.

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