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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lebedev Announces Bid for City Duma Seat

Billionaire Alexander Lebedev said Thursday that he would run for a seat in the Moscow City Duma in fall elections in an attempt to "rescue the city from collapse."

"It may happen that this is the last chance to rescue the city from the collapse that is moving inexorably toward the capital while its mayor enjoys launching blimps and opening Mediterranean palaces," Lebedev wrote on his LiveJournal blog.

Lebedev, a fierce critic of Mayor Yury Luzhkov who unsuccessfully ran against him before gubernatorial elections were abolished, said on his LiveJournal blog that he had not decided whether to seek a City Duma seat as an independent or with a political party.

"The representatives of several political parties have made offers about possible cooperation, but I haven't decided yet," Lebedev told Interfax.

Luzhkov might also participate in the vote as the main candidate for United Russia, Vedomosti reported Thursday. Luzhkov ran with United Russia in the last City Duma elections but turned down the seat after the party won 29 of the chamber's 35 seats.

In the 2003 mayoral election, Lebedev placed second with 13 percent of the vote, losing to Luzhkov, who got about 80 percent.