The Straits Times
Published on Jan 26, 2013

China's Chongqing mayor says has banished Bo Xilai's influence


BEIJING (REUTERS) - The mayor of the scandal-plagued southwestern Chinese metropolis of Chongqing said on Saturday that local authorities had banished the malign influence of the city's former top official Bo Xilai, and vowed never to never allow a repeat of his crimes.

Once a contender for China's top leadership, Bo was ousted in the biggest political scandal in two decades last year following his wife's murder of a British businessman, Neil Heywood.

A former commerce minister, Bo turned sprawling, haze-covered Chongqing into a showcase for his mix of populist policies and bold spending plans that won support from leftists yearning for a charismatic leader. Other Communist Party leaders vieweed him as an attention-seeking loose cannon.

Bo, 63, was widely seen as pursuing a powerful spot on the party's elite inner core before his career unravelled after his former police chief, Wang Lijun, fled to a US consulate for more than 24 hours in February and alleged that Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, had murdered Mr Heywood with poison.