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MOSCOW, December 16 (Itar-Tass) ——Mikhail Prokhorov, a politician and a businessman, had a meeting on Thursday with his supporters and members of the initiative group, which nominated him presidential candidate. Prokhorov promised to reduce the presidential term of office, to facilitate the procedure of the registration of political parties and to initiate the direct election of governors. Prokhorov did not criticize Prime Minister Putin. According to his information, the first thing for him to do, if he were elected president, would be to pardon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Commenting on his possible election, Prokhorov promised the immediate pardoning of Khodorkovsky, The Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. “I think Khodorkovsky would prefer a lawful parole, which he really deserves, to the charity of a monarch,” said Yuri Schmidt, Khodorkovsky’s lawyer. He described Prokhorov as “a mysterious candidate.”
Continuing the traditional Liberal rhetoric, Prokhorov added that he intended to reduce the presidential term of office down to five years and to impose a rule, under which a person could hold the post of president for no more than ten years.
Prokhorov commented as well on the recent parliamentary elections. “I agree that the elections were not honest and were forged, but we should act within the framework of the legislation, i.e. to appeal to court. I think it is wrong to start an outcry and to settle the problem by political methods,” he said. He added that he might attend the planned rally on December 24 and said he sympathized with the appeals of the protesters.
Responding to questions of journalists, who wished to know whether Prokhorov was a candidate of the Kremlin, he answered in a most restrained way. “I am not embarrassed by the labels,” he said. He again refused to criticize Putin, who is going to be his main rival. “So far as Putin’s mistakes are concerned, he certainly made some mistakes, as anyone who is working. Elections are the only criterion for evaluating those mistakes, however,” he said.
Prokhorov told The RBK Daily that his presidential programme had been drafted already. “It is ready. I just do not want so far to put all my cards on the table. It will be easy to understand, no more than 15 pages,” he said.
Responding to the question on whether he is afraid of his main rival at the presidential elections – Vladimir Putin, he said he was not afraid of him, because he is accustomed to fighting strong rivals, and he likes it, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta writes.