MOSCOW, March 4 (RIA Novosti)
- Tycoon's Race Brings Him into Big Politics
- Mikhail Prokhorov Votes in Russian Presidential Election
- Prokhorov: New Party Will Be 'Non-Political'
- Prokhorov Announces Party Name Contest
- Prokhorov Wants to Form Own Political Party
Billionaire presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov, who came in third place in Russia’s presidential race according to preliminary results, said he did not consider the elections fair and vowed to run for the presidency again, “and not just once.”
“I do not consider them [the elections] fair, but I have accepted this challenge," Prokhorov, who was the only independent candidate in Sunday’s elections, said in an interview with state-run television Channel One.
“I deliberately agreed to play by somebody else's rules,” he said, adding that he decided to run for the presidency because he wanted to express his views and consolidate “socially active citizens and thinking people.”
Prokhorov said he would reject an official post if offered one by Putin.
“I will not accept any post anyway,” he said in an interview with state-run television Channel One, adding he planned to create a “political party to struggle for power.”
“We receive many requests from citizens and our supporters. Everyone wants to create a new political force. An organizing committee will gather around March 20 and we will make a decision,” he said.
The billionaire also said he would attend an opposition rally at the Pushkinskaya Square on Monday.
Critics have suggested Prokhorov’s presidential bid was promoted by the Kremlin in an attempt to split the opposition vote.
Prokhorov expects his final result to be between 10 and 11 percent, but with 80% of ballots counted he receives 6.99 percent and comes third.
Putin congratulated Prokhorov after the vote and wished him success in creating a new right party.
The Russian prime minister said Prokhorov’s campaign was “dignified and interesting.”
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the tycoon has “very good political perspectives.”
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.