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Ear to the Ground

Russian Billionaire Throws In to Challenge Putin

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Posted on Dec 12, 2011
Wikimedia Commons / (CC-BY-SA)

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has announced his intention to challenge Vladimir Putin in next year’s presidential election.

He’s a high-rolling billionaire bachelor who owns the New Jersey Nets, and now Mikhail Prokhorov says he’s aiming to take down the biggest player in Russian politics by running against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for the presidency next March. So why are opposition leaders framing Prokhorov’s move as a possible boon for the Kremlin?

The Wall Street Journal:

Facing a familiar group of mostly communist, socialist and nationalist candidates, Mr. Putin appears virtually certain to win the Mar. 4 election. But doubts about the depth of his support grew after the parliamentary vote. Despite what was alleged to be widespread fraud on its behalf, the ruling United Russia party saw its results drop sharply, barely holding on to its majority in parliament. Tens of thousands of protestors—many of them young members of Russia’s new urban middle class—took to the streets in major cities over the past week to protest the alleged vote-rigging, the largest antigovernment protests in at least a decade.

[...] “Prokhorov’s task is to accumulate protest voters and help Putin get elected,” Boris Nemtsov, an opposition leader and Prokhorov friend, told the Interfax news agency. Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, who also is running for president, echoed that view.

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If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By diman, December 13, 2011 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

Just what my people needed another oligarch-in-chief.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, December 13, 2011 at 6:44 am Link to this comment

So Russia could go from the tyranny of the Secret Police (Putin) to
the tyranny of the Almighty Ruble(Prokhorov).  Could such change
be any better for the people?

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