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60 United Russia Members Threaten to Quit Party

Sixty United Russia members from the Krasnoyarsk region have written an open letter to party leader and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev threatening to quit the party if a colleague who heads a regional district isn't fired.

The ruling party members said in the letter, published online Monday, that they could no longer tolerate Mikhail Krivitsky, who has led the Krasnoyarsk region's Abansky district for 13 years, calling him a "thief" and saying they were forced to issue their ultimatum.

"We don't want people to take us and other honest members of United Russia for thieves just because we are in the same party as crooks, thieves, yes-men and people who steal from the state budget," the party members wrote.

The letter said that Krivitsky used the party to enrich himself and that corruption flourishes in the district he oversees in Russia's Far East. It also accuses him of sanctioning the illegal felling of trees by criminal groups for financial gain.

This is not the first time that Krivitsky's leadership of the Abansky district has been called into question.

In September, 600 local residents petitioned Krasnoyarsk Governor Lev Kuznetsov to fire Krivitsky, although the district head dismissed the petition as the work of the political opposition. Earlier this month, two-thirds of the district council's lawmakers voted for his dismissal, reported.

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