Monday, 12 December 2011

Billionaire to Challenge Putin

 Russian Billionaire and owner of the New Jersey Nets, Mikhail Prokhorov, has thrown his hat in the ring to challenge Valdimir Putin in his quest for the presidency.

"This is probably the most serious decision of my life,"he said. 

After being restricted by term limits to run as President again, Putin, a mentor of Dimitry Medvedev, had a scheme to run again in 2012.  Putin was disqualified from running in 2008, after having served two terms.  Before last week's Duma election Putin and his United Russia Party planned on regaining power in Russia.  The election is alleged to have been riddled with fraud and protestors have taken to the streets, demanding that new elections be called.  Medvedev in a facebook message has ordered an investigation into the election.  

Recently Prokhorov wrote in a blog that Putin is probably the best candidate to lead Russia's government in view of the ineffective Duma.   Prochorov has to collect 2 million signatures in order to register for the presidential election.

Prokhorov has been an advocate for the release of Michail Chodorkowski, who spoke out against Putin in 2003 when he was head of the Russian oil company Yukos and was later convicted for money laundering.  It is believed that his conviction was politically motivated. 

Prokhorov, who is estimated to have a wealth of $18 Billion, according to Forbes is the third wealthiest Russian. 

Analysts contend that despite this weekend's protests, Putin is still the most popular candidate and that Prochorov can muster at the most 7% of the vote.

From the outside looking in, there seems to be more than election fraud going on in Russia.

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