Obama denies link with Illinois governor

December 12th, 2008 - 9:02 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Dec 12 (Xinhua) US President-elect Barack Obama has said that no one of his office were engaged in striking a deal with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich over who would fill the senate seat vacated by him. In a press conference in Chicago Thursday, Obama said the vacant seat was not for “any politician to trade”, and he had never spoken to the governor on the subject.

The president-elect also said he was confident that “no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat”.

The senate seat “belongs to the people of Illinois and they deserve the best possible representation”, he said.

Federal agents arrested Blagojevich Tuesday for his alleged effort to “sell” Obama’s vacated seat, which he has sole power to fill.

Prosecutors secretly recorded the two-term Democratic governor apparently discussing plans to extract a price from Obama for naming his favoured candidate - his friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett - to the Senate.

Obama has joined calls for the governor to resign. But Blagojevich denied any wrongdoing and vowed to stay on the job. He went back to work Wednesday after being released on a $4,500 bond.

The Illinois state legislature will begin a special session next Monday to consider legislation that would authorise a special election to choose Obama’s successor.

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