Ousted Moscow mayor plots new political movement

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Former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, sacked last week by President Dmitry Medvedev, plans to lead a new political movement, he said in an interview published in the opposition New Times magazine Monday.

"I will form my own movement," said Luzhkov, 74. "Going into politics means working on making it possible to introduce democratic laws. Our society now has laws that are not democratic."

Medvedev issued a decree on September 28 to fire Luzhkov after 18 years in the mayoral seat, citing "lack of confidence" as the reason for his dismissal.

The former mayor decried a smear campaign against him in the media which preceded his dismissal. "That should not happen in a normal society. I will fight against such things," he said.

Luzhkov denied that he would run for president in 2012 and said his movement may be based on an existing group, the Russian Movement for Democratic Reform, created in the early 1990s by Luzhkov's predecessor Gavriil Popov.

The movement is not registered as a political party and so cannot participate in 2011 parliamentary elections, but Luzhkov said that he plans to "exert influence."

© 2010 AFP

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