28 Sep 2010 14:24

Luzhkov to leave United Russia party

MOSCOW. Sept 28 (Interfax) - Dismissed Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov has sent a letter to the leadership of the ruling United Russia party to say that he is leaving the party, a source at the Moscow mayor's office told Interfax.

"I have been subjected to violent attacks from the state-owned media recently as a member of the bureau of the party's Supreme Council," the source quoted the letter as saying.

"The attacks stemmed from the aim of removing the Moscow mayor from the political arena and stripping him of his powers ahead of time. For over a month, I was subject to wild harassment that went beyond the limits of decency and common sense," the letter says.

Luzhkov said that there were no objective reasons for the media campaign.

\ "United Russia, its top bodies did not offer any support to their member, did not demonstrate any willingness to look into things and stop the flow of lies and slander," he said.

Luzhkov expressed gratitude to the Moscow chapter of United Russia which he led since its foundation in 2001.

"Unlike the federal organization, the Moscow chapter of Untied Russia the same as numerous other public organizations resolutely supported the Moscow mayor in the present circumstances," the letter says.

"Given the above I ask not to be considered a member of United Russia any longer," Luzhkov, a founding member of the party, stated in his letter.