China leftists urge parliament not to expel Bo Xilai
BEIJING (REUTERS) - A group of Chinese leftists has issued a public letter calling on the country's largely rubber stamp parliament not to expel disgraced former top leader Bo Xilai from its ranks, saying the move is legally questionable and politically motivated.
Stripping membership from Mr Bo - the one-time Communist Party chief of Chongqing who is accused of abusing power, taking huge bribes and other crimes - also removes his immunity from prosecution, and paves the way for formal charges against him.
Mr Bo's ouster has exposed deep rifts in the party between his leftist backers, who are nostalgic for the revolutionary era of Mao Zedong, and reformers, who advocate for faster political and economic reforms.
The letter, carried on the far-left Chinese-language website "Red China" and addressed to the parliament's standing committee, says the party is fuelling doubts about the accusations against Mr Bo by refusing to discuss them publicly.