Russian parliament speaker Boris Gryzlov, chairman of Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party, says he will not take his seat in the State Duma elected in the December 4 vote.
As Duma speaker since 2003 and chairman of United Russia's Supreme Council, Gryzlov is a powerful symbol of a political system dominated by Putin and the party for more than a decade.
His decision appeared aimed at cooling public anger over an election opponents say was rigged in the ruling party's favor.
The Duma convenes on December 21.
Putin, president from 2000-08, will seek a new six-year term in the Kremlin in a March 4 election.
Putin is chairman of United Russia but not a member.
compiled from agency reports