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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Defiant ex-Moscow mayor plans to stay in politics

RIA Novosti

00:58 12/10/2010

VIENNA, October 12 (RIA Novosti) - Sacked Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov said on Monday he would not quit politics and claimed that a number of political forces in the country had expressed readiness to cooperate with him.

Luzhkov, 74, was fired by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on September 28 after weeks of speculation about his worsening relations with the Kremlin and his imminent resignation or dismissal.

"I will not quit politics. I will fight for the election of the [Moscow] mayor and governors," said Luzhkov, who is currently on vacation in Austria with his wife.

In line with current legislation, regional governors and the Moscow mayor are appointed by the Russian president rather than elected by popular vote.

Luzhkov said he planned to return to Moscow next week and restart his political life in Russia after "solving some personal and family issues."

"I am holding [political] consultations at present. You should know that many political structures, movements and some parties are eager to join forces with me," he said.

The ruling United Russia party presented on Saturday a list of four candidates for one of Russia's most-sought-after jobs to President Dmitry Medvedev.

The list includes Transport Minister Igor Levitin, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Sobyanin, Nizhny Novgorod Region Governor Valery Shantsev, and First Deputy Mayor of Moscow Lyudmila Shvetsova.

Sobyanin, 52, has been touted by the Russian media and political analysts as a favorite to get the post.

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