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MOSCOW, December 12 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s notorious tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov has said he was going to run for Russian president in March 2012.
“I have taken a decision, maybe, the most serious one in my entire life. I will run for presidency,” he told a news conference on Monday.
He hinted that he had planned to join in the presidential race already when he was the leader of the Russia opposition party Right Cause. “But the Kremlin blew me and my supporters off. I am not used to be stopped halfway,” he said.
Prokhorov, 46, who owns the UNEXIM financial and industrial group, is believed to be one of Russia’s wealthiest businessmen with a fortune of up to 18 billion U.S. dollars, according to the Forbes magazine.
In his words, he and his supporters in the recent month have “built a structure” to collect two million signatures needed to have his candidature registered for presidential race. “It will not be an easy process,” he said but added he believed in success.
Asked by Itar-Tass, Prokhorov said he knew all the insides of the self-nomination procedure. “On Wednesday or Thursday, we shall submit all the necessary documents” to the Russian Central Election Commission, he said.
Explaining the reason why he decided to run for president, Prokhorov said that the new parliament, which was elected on December 4, is “absolutely leftist,” while the authorities are giving unrealized promises. “I will base my program on complete denial of populism, on what is actually attainable,” he stressed.
He said he would make public his program shortly after being registered as presidential candidate, when his rivals are known. “When I obtain registration, I will publish my program, and those who share my views will be my supporters,” he said.
He did not rule out that he might create a party of his own some time in the future. “I think that an open and clear-cut presidential campaign I am planning to stage will create perfect conditions to build a new grassroots political party,” he noted.
Commenting on today’s statement by former finance minister Alexei Kudrin, who forecasted an emergence of an authoritative right-wind force after the recent parliamentary elections. Prokhorov said, “We have discussed it with him more than once.” “Our economic and political views actually coincide but we have arrived at no exact result,” he added.
He also said he had virtually quitted business and pledged he would not “get back to business.” He said he had already chosen a person who would head his would-be election headquarters. “You will know when the time is right,” he said.
Before the elections to the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, Prokhorov was elected Right Cause leader but was ousted from the post after a split in its ranks. In the December 4 elections to the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, Right Cause won less than one percent of the vote and thus will have no seats in the new Duma.