Topic: Moscow ex-mayor Yury Luzhkov
- Luzhkov responsible for own sacking says State Duma speaker
- Dismissed ex-mayor Luzhkov absent from meeting
- Russian president sacks Moscow mayor (WRAPUP)
- Medvedev has no plans to meet with sacked Moscow mayor - Kremlin (Update 1)
Moscow is rife with speculation about who might replace former Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who was sacked on Tuesday following a series of disputes with the Russian president. The job is unlikely to be maintained in its present form and may be divided into two posts to avoid a repeat of Luzhkov's power concentration.
The front runners:
Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Sobyanin, 52, was chairman of the District Duma (regional government) in west Siberia's Khanty-Mansiisk Autonomous District from 1994 until 2000. He was appointed governor of west Siberia's Tyumen Region in 2001. From 2005 until 2008 he served as the head of the Russian President's Administration. In 2008, he was appointed deputy prime minister.
Nizhny Novgorod Region governor Valery Shantsev is a former deputy mayor of Moscow, with experience of working in the capital's administration since the Soviet era. His background in the capital's economics department could be put to good use in the top job.
Acting Mayor Vladimir Resin, now holding the reins after Lukhkov's departure, also has a long history of working in the Moscow administration. He has been first deputy prime minister of the city government since 1992. Most significantly, he has had responsibilities in construction and architecture since 2000.
Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, 57, served in the Soviet and later Russian foreign intelligence service. He was appointed deputy director of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in 1998 and the secretary of the Russian Security Council in 1990.
Ivanov was defense minister from March 2001 to February 2007, deputy prime minister from November 2005 to February 2007, first deputy prime minister from February 2007 to May 2008, and has been deputy prime minister since May 2008.
Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu, 55, has occupied his post under two Russian presidents since 2000. He started his political career in 1995 by joining the Our Home is Russia movement and was awarded Russia's most prestigious state award - Hero of Russia - in 1999.
Shoigu is popular among Russians because of his hands-on management style and visible public presence during floods, earthquakes and terrorist attacks.
At the back of the pack are some less obvious potential candidates:
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 64, is one of Russia's most notorious politicians. He recently announced that he wanted to replace Luzhkov. Zhirinovsky leads the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) and is also deputy chairman of the State Duma (lower house of parliament) and a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Zhirinovsky has accused Luzhkov of corruption and said "Moscow will breathe fresh air," now the former mayor has gone.
Businessman Alexander Lebedev, 50, a former KGB officer, who ran for Moscow mayor in 2003. In May 2008, he was listed by Forbes magazine as one of the richest Russians with an estimated fortune of $3.1 billion. He owns three UK newspapers: the London Evening Standard, the The Independent and the Independent on Sunday.
Former governor of Russia's Baltic exclave, Kaliningrad, Georgy Boos, 47, who was ousted from his post in August amid growing public discontent in the region. The Kremlin promised to find him a job that would "meet his professional qualities."
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, 43, who was the governor of Chukotka (an impoverished region in the Russian Far East) from 2000 to 2008. Abramovich improved living standards in the region, restored schools and housing and attracted investment.
In July 2003, Abramovich bought a controlling stake in England's Chelsea football club for 140 million pounds (about $220 million). He is currently the chairman of the Chukotka Autonomous District Duma.
MOSCOW, September 28 (RIA Novosti)
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