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Mikhail Prokhorov not to run for Moscow mayoral elections

June 14, 2013, 11:32 UTC+3

According to one of the versions, the businessman's refusal is linked with his foreign assets

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The leader of the Civic Platform party, businessman Mikhail Prokhorov said his party would not participate in the mayoral elections in Moscow. He explained that he did not want to participate in "the procedure to extend the current mayor's license". Parties do not rule out the businessman refused to take part in the election campaign at the Kremlin request.

According to one of the versions, the businessman's refusal is linked with his foreign assets, the Komsomolskaya Pravda writes. Under the law, a candidate to the post of head of a region may not have accounts, property and business abroad. However, the Civic Platform leader stated he had a possibility to settle the matter of his foreign assets, but did not resort to "technical tricks".

If the question had been only Prokhorov's foreign accounts, in such a case he would have had nothing to prevent him from delegating his sister Irina, who has no assets abroad, to the elections from the Civic Platform, the Moskovsky Komsomolets supposes. It was what was talked about as a reserve solution from the very beginning of the Moscow campaign. Moreover, according to sociologists, the sister in elections can be stronger than her brother and could perform more successfully than he could. However, Prokhorov for some reason refused to accept the solution.

The CPRF and Just Russia parties believe the Civic Platform leader refused to run for the post of mayor as he followed the Kremlin's advice, the Kommersant writes. Deputy Chairman of the CPRF Central Committee Valery Rashkin believes Mr. Prokhorov is involved in the Kremlin politico-technological games. Such was the case in the presidential elections when Prokhorov was a support for Putin. This is the same team, he said. Deputy head of the Just Russia party's members in the Duma Mikhail Yemelyanov said the businessman's decision was expected. He is a man dependent on the authorities. If Prokhorov had been nominated, then Sobyanin would have more problems in the first round. Those who consider him to be an opposition activist can become convinced of the opposite.

The Vedomosti has no doubts the prospects for participation of Prokhorov and other serious candidates in the elections were among the reasons to call early mayoral elections in Moscow. According to the newspaper, Prokhorov with his financial and media resources was an opponent able to unite the middle class independent of the state and to be a serious challenge to main candidate Sergei Sobyanin. In the presidential elections in March 2012, the billionaire gained 20.5 percent of the votes in Moscow and was the second after Putin.

The newspaper does not rule out that in case of relatively fair electioneering, an energetic publicity campaign of Prokhorov and criticism of errors of the current mayor's office could lead to the second round undesired for the mayor's office and the Kremlin. Even if Prokhorov still decided to run for the elections, in any case he would have had difficulties - foreign assets, municipal selection, "wrong" signatures - it would be a solvable matter to eliminate him from the race. In such a case, the refusal of the Civic Platform leader to participate in the farce with the expected result is a farsighted political move. However, under consideration is also another version. The refusal to participate in the mayoral elections may turn out to be a result of a mutually advantageous exchange to let the Civic Platform enter regional legislatures, including the Moscow City Duma.

After Mikhail Prokhorov's refusal, acting head of the city Sergei Sobyanin has only one serious opponent, the Izvestia believes. According to vice-president of the Centre of Political Analysis Dmitry Abzalov, only Yabloko party leader Sergei Mitrokhin has chances to challenge Sobyanin to compete. The rest candidates most likely will get a low percentage of votes.

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