Russia former upper house speaker takes up Duma job

Russia’s upper house speaker Sergei Mironov, who lost his job after being recalled by a regional legislature, said on Thursday he will take a seat in the lower house until parliamentary elections in December.

“I will be a State Duma deputy in the next six months, until December 4,” Mironov, who leads the Just Russia party, told a news conference in Moscow.

On Wednesday, St. Petersburg’s city legislature, which had nominated Mironov to the Federal Council, voted to recall him.

Mironov’s dismissal follows his criticism of St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko and the ruling United Russia party, which dominates parliament and regional legislatures.

“The decision was, of course, made within United Russia,” he said.

Mironov said he would head Just Russia’s lists at the December 4 polls.

Just Russia could also put forward its own candidate to stand in next year’s presidential election, Mironov said.

“Our party will hold an assembly in the fall and, judging from the social and economic situation in the country… will decide whether we will take part in the presidential campaign,” he said.

His party would never back a United Russia candidate, he added.

He also said Just Russia would never join the All-Russia People’s Front, which is now being formed by the government and designed to bring together business, trade union and youth leaders to run under the banner of United Russia.

Speaking at his biggest ever news conference on Wednesday, President Dmitry Medvedev said Mironov’s departure would help make Russia’s politics more competitive.

MOSCOW, May 19 (RIA Novosti)

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