Dismissed ex-mayor Luzhkov absent from meeting
Moscow`s ex-mayor Yury Luzhkov, who was fired on Tuesday for losing the trust of the Russian president, did not attend a City Hall meeting chaired by newly-appointed acting mayor Vladimir Resin, according to RIA Novosti.
President Dmitry Medvedev sacked Luzhkov, who had run the capital since 1992, earlier on Tuesday following two weeks of swirling speculation over Luzhkov`s political fate and how the Moscow city drama could impact politics at the highest level of the state.
The former Moscow ruler, a strong ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, angered Medvedev by criticizing his leadership in an article for paper Rossiskaya Gazeta in early September.
In recent weeks, Luzhkov has faced stinging criticism from state-run TV, which slammed him and his billionaire wife Yelena Baturina for corruption and failing to solve the city`s most pressing problems.
Spectators believe the firing of Luzhkov is a sign that Medvedev is asserting his authority ahead of the 2012 presidential elections, when he is expected to compete with Putin for leadership of the country.
The ex-mayor will not leave Russia and will continue to work for the good of the capital, a source in the City Hall who had spoken to Luzhkov since he left office, told RIA Novosti.