China's Bo Xilai expelled from Communist Party
BEIJING, China - Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai will "face justice" for a litany of crimes including abuse of power, bribes and improper sexual relations with multiple partners, state media said on Friday.
The report by the official Xinhua news agency indicated Chinese authorities were ready to come down hard on the one-time rising political star whose involvement in a salacious scandal has shocked China and cast doubt on a coming leadership transition.
Bo "made serious errors and he bears the major responsibility" for the scandal that saw his wife convicted of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood, Xinhua said.
In a simultaneous announcement, Xinhua said the Communist Party had set November 8 as the date for a pivotal party congress that will confirm the country's leaders for the next 10 years.
Both Bo's fate and the date of the congress have been the subject of intense speculation over whether the scandal would unsettle the highly choreographed leadership change.
Bo, the party boss of the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, had been seen as a candidate for promotion to the party's top echelons, but murder allegations against his wife Gu Kailai brought him down earlier this year.
He was removed from his post and analysts said the affair exposed deep divisions within the Communist Party as he retains a large following among left-leaning party members.
Gu was convicted in August of poisoning British businessman Neil Heywood after a multi-million dollar business deal went sour.
The case torpedoed Bo's ambitions of elevation to the nine-member Politburo Standing Committee, the elite group of Communist leaders who run China. – Agence France-Presse