By Ilya Khrennikov -Bloomberg News
Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov said heâ€™ll run for president against Prime MinisterÂ Vladimir PutinÂ in March elections after the biggest anti-government demonstrations in a decade emboldenedÂ Russiaâ€™s opposition.
â€œThis is the most important decision of my life,â€ the New Jersey Nets basketball team owner told reporters in Moscow.
Prokhorov, Russiaâ€™s third-richest man with a fortune Forbes magazine put at $18 billion, quit as leader of the Pravoye Delo, or Right Cause, party on Sept. 15, accusing PresidentÂ Dmitry Medvedevâ€™s administration of blocking the groupâ€™s preparations for parliamentary elections in December.
That Dec. 4 vote, in which Putin and Medvedevâ€™s United Russia party retained its majority, was neither free nor fair, observers from the U.S. andÂ EuropeÂ said. Thousands of Russians took to the streets in the week after the contest to protest the results amid widespread reports of ballot-stuffing.
Prokhorov may have the support of ousted Finance MinisterÂ Alexei Kudrin, who told the Vedomosti newspaper in an interview published today that he supports the creation of a new right-of- center party. Kudrin was the second longest-serving minister in the government when he resigned Sept. 26, citing disagreements with Medvedev over spending policy.
Medvedev yesterday ordered an investigation into the allegations of fraud in the parliamentary elections, a day after more than 25,000 people gathered in the center of Moscow in near-freezing temperatures to protest the outcome, according to police estimates. Several thousand more rallied inÂ St. PetersburgÂ and other major cities.
The swelling resentment threatens to weaken Putinâ€™s bid to return to the Kremlin for another six years. He served the maximum two-consecutive terms from 2000 to 2008, when he stepped aside in favor of his protÃ©gÃ© Medvedev, whose term ends in May. Putin said in September that heâ€™ll seek to return to the Kremlin and plans to appoint Medvedev prime minister. Parliament lengthened the presidential term to six years from four after Medvedev became president.
Don’t let the MSM censor your news as America becomes Great Again. Over 500,000 Americans receive our daily dose of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness along with Breaking News direct to their inbox—and you can too. Sign up to receive news and views from The 1776Coalition!
We know how important your privacy is and your information is SAFE with us. We’ll never sell
your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time directly from your inbox.