Monday, 12 December 2011

Russia billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov to challenge Putin

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has said he will challenge Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in next March's presidential election.
Mr Prokhorov said it was "the most serious decision" of his life.
Saturday saw Russia's biggest demonstration in years by protesters calling for fresh parliamentary polls over alleged voting fraud.
Mr Putin's party, United Russia, barely scraped a majority in the elections held earlier this month.
"I have made the most serious decision of my life. I am running for president," Mr Prokhorov said at a news conference.
Mr Prokhorov said he would not build his presidential campaign on criticism of Mr Putin.
"Criticism must make up no more than 10%… I would like to focus on the things I would do," he said.


Mikhail Prokhorov is one of the new generation of Russians who are comfortable with their place in the post-Cold War world. Just 46 years old, he made his fortune in Russia's "crazy 90s" by buying Norilsk Nickel, and then selling it just before the global economic crash.
Genuinely charming, over two metres tall, and with excellent English, he communicates easily with both Russians and non-Russians. But he has an Achilles heel that is a major shortcoming in today's Russian politics. He is an oligarch.
For many ordinary Russians the oligarchs are the people who stole their raw materials, and in the case of Mikhail Prokhorov that includes vast amounts of gold as well as nickel. So although he is undoubtedly a charismatic man, and a very good organiser, he may not be able to generate sufficient support from the grassroots.
Power struggle
Earlier this year, the metals billionaire and owner of the US NBA New Jersey Nets basketball team made a short-lived effort to challenge the United Russia party in this month's parliamentary elections.
He later resigned from his own party, the Right Cause party, following an internal power struggle that he blamed on the Kremlin.
He then accused Kremlin strategist Vladislav Surkov of being linked to the party's split and said he would push for Mr Surkov's dismissal.
On Monday, he said: "I have found a more sophisticated way [to dismiss Surkov], I think I should just become his boss," Mr Prokhorov said.
In a recent blog, Mr Prokhorov said he saw no alternative to Mr Putin as president.
"Whether they [Russian people] like it or not, Putin is so far the only figure who can manage this inefficient state machine," Mr Prokhorov said.
Mr Prokhorov is ranked by Forbes as Russia's third richest man with a fortune of around $18bn (£11bn; $13bn euros).

taken from

No comments:

Post a Comment