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MOSCOW, December 23. /ITAR-TASS/. On Friday, Mikhail Prokhorov quit the post of the leader of the Civil Platform party, and his sister Irina became the new head of the federal civil committee. The move was explained by the party’s decision to introduce annual rotation of the leadership. Prokhorov himself has become head of the party’s federal sub-committee.
Prokhorov wants to retain influence in the party, but take a backseat, as Sergei Mironov of the A Just Russia party had once done (giving the post of the formal leader to Nikolai Levichev), in order to minimise communication with the country’s political leadership, said Prokhorov’s acquaintance who is quoted by the Vedomosti newspaper. “I stay in the party,” Prokhorov wrote in his Internet blog.
Prokhorov was not allowed to make from Civil Platform an alternative ruling party and his enthusiasm has, apparently, faded, Vedomosti quotes political analyst Yevgeny Minchenko as saying. He says that political concessions during the election campaign had been made, to all appearances, in exchange for economic benefits: first, in May he advantageously took part in the additional issue of VTB shares and then bought 21.75 percent of shares of Uralkali from Suleyman Kerimov.
Prokhorov’s party stand high favour - Civil Platform won seats in the Irkutsk regional and Kalmykia legislative assemblies, in the state assemblies of Yekaterinburg, Yakutsk, Krasnoyarsk by party lists, Prokhorov attended the president’s meeting with non-parliamentary parties, was among those invited to the meeting when Russia's president delivered his annual state-of-the-nation address to both houses of parliament.
Experts, interviewed by Izvestia, had a mixed response to the reshuffle. On the one hand, Irina Prokhorova enjoys the intellectuals’ serious support, but on the other - her rating, unlike her brother’s, is not so high.
“Irina Prokhorova has long been regarded in the party as the second most influential person after Mikhail Prokhorov,” political analyst Gleb Pavlosvky told the newspaper. He believes that Irina would strengthen the party and cope with the ideological tasks set before her.
“Her appointment for a year means that she may quit the post after elections to the Moscow City Duma by which her brother has no time to re-register his foreign assets. So, she solves the problem for him,” the expert says.
In the view of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, representatives of Civil Platform now should ask themselves the main question - how the change of the leader might affect the party’s electoral base.
“I’m not sure that the appointment of Irina Prokhorova will add votes to the party,” Vice President of the Centre for Political Technologies Rostislav Turovsky told the newspaper. “She is not widely known and it is far from certain that her promotion campaign proves successful.” If Mikhail Prokhorov fully retires, the party will find itself in crisis, the expert believes.
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