The speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, Boris Gryzlov, has said he is quitting his post.
“Today I made a decision to give up my seat,” Gryzlov, an ultra-loyal supporter of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, said in a statement on Wednesday.
The 60-year-old added, however, that even though he would not take a seat in the new State Duma, he would stay on as chairman of the Supreme Council of the ruling United Russia party.
“I am ready to work wherever the president tells me to,” he said.
The party struggled to hang onto its parliamentary majority in the December 4 parliamentary election, despite widespread allegations of fraud.
The new speaker will be chosen before December 21, Yury Shuvalov, United Russia’s vice chairman, told RIA Novosti.
He said that it would most likely be a United Russia MP.
The new Duma will discuss candidacies at its first session on December 21.