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Boris Gryzlov resigns as Russia's speaker of parliament

Russia's speaker of the lower house of parliament, Boris Gryzlov, has resigned from the post.

Boris Gryzlov resigns Enlarge
Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) speak to supporters in the United Russia ruling party's campaign staff in Moscow, on December 4, 2011. (Dmitry Astakhov/AFP/Getty Images)

Boris Gryzlov resigned from his post as speaker of the lower house of Parliament on Wednesday, The New York Times reported.

Gryzlov was the chairman of Russia's ruling party, United Russia, and a close ally of prime minister Vladmir V. Putin.  

The move was an effort to "quell some of the uproar over perceived fraud in recent parliamentary elections," according to The Times.

Gryzlov is the highest ranking official in the United Russia party after Putin, who is the party's leader, but is not a member of the party.

According to the Vancouver Sun, Gryzlov is the highest-profile casualty of the controversy surrounding the December 4 parliamentary elections that have shaken Putin's domination of Russia.

"I have decided to renounce my mandate as a member of parliament... It would be wrong to occupy the post of speaker for more than two terms," said Gryzlov in a statement on the website of the ruling United Russia party.

Gryzlov said he had achieved much of what he set out to do in his eight years in the Duma, as the lower house is called. He will continue to head the political party's supreme council.

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He added that he is "ready to accept a post determined by the President," CNN reported.  

United Russia party officials said on their website they will nominate their candidate to replace Gryzlov next Saturday.

Putin is the current prime minister of Russia and is preparing to move back to the presidency in 2012.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/111214/boris-gryzlov-resigns-russias-speaker-parliament