Tuesday, February 21, 2012

PoliticsRussia: Presidential candidate: Mikhail Prokhorov comes from new business elite

Russian Presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov left the gilded halls of extreme business success, a captain of industry he, to enter the fray of Russian electoral politics.  From his success in the mining industry, Prokhorov, has diversified his portfolio (as Wall Street woud term it), bringing into his campaign regional bases where his enterprises have personnel and local clout, as well as public relations acumen.  His organization knows how to advertise (TV, radio, print, maybe billboards and other s+nage).  He doesn't attack Russia's leading citizen and public office-holder, Vladimir Putin.  Now, Putin was once Russia's president, naming his colleague Dmitry Medvedev to be prime minister, and then due to constitutional requirements when Medvedev succeeded Putin as president, Putin was named prime minister by the same colleague and now Putin is completing his term in the latter office, only to turn around to run again constitutionally to become president again).

This is what Prokhorov is up against in making his Presidential bid.  Many both at home and abroad are rooting for the man (me too!); but the new factor in Russian politics has as yet only a little bit above 5% of the voters who support.  He is a long-distance runner, and something of a "dark horse."

-- Politicarp, refWrite Frontpage politics columnist

For Russia, a New Kind 

of Presidential Candidate: 

a Billionaire

photo: James Hill, NYT

"People come to power not to work for us, the people, but to make money on us. I don't need to make money," said Mikhail D. Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire who's running for president.

SOCHI, Russia — The scene at a hotel conference room here could have sprung whole from a daydream by Donald Trump. Hundreds of young people milled about, buzzing with praise and admiration for a billionaire who decided to run for president.
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“Oh, he is such a successful man,” Alyona S. Rudakov, who is 22, gushed about the Russian businessmanMikhail D. Prokhorov, who this winter became the first of the post-Soviet set of ultrawealthy financiers to run for president.
Latching on to one of the themes of Mr. Prokhorov’s campaign, she asked, “Why shouldn’t we let him try, on a larger scale, what he has already achieved at his corporation?”

New York Times (Feb20,2k12)
— NYT article intro reposted here with refWrite comment by Politicarp, refWrite Frontpage political columnist
general editor, refWrite Frontpage

In another country, Mr. Prokhorov’s presidential campaign might appear little more than a lark, one of the periodic efforts by rich people with political aspirations to translate one kind of success into another. But his campaign is, improbably, gaining momentum in a way that speaks to the state of Russian politics — in particular, the extraordinary hunger for a fresh face in a small but distinct part of the electorate.
Still, Russia poses particular challenges for his candidacy. It does not help, for example, that Mr. Prokhorov’s wealth, from running a mining company, is directly tied to the natural resources that a large part of the electorate believes were stolen from them in the 1990s.
Or that in Russia’s still tightly controlled political system, much debate takes place over whether he is or is not in the pocket of the very autocrat he is running against, Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin.
Read more ... of this informative article in New York Times ...

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