New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov recently announced that he seeks the presidency of Russia and plans to disclose his political agenda after he registers as a candidate.
Prokhorov had been the leader of pro-business party Just Cause, but had been removed by the Kremlin for political reasons. He plans to form a new party when he runs in 2012.
According to The Big Lead, Prokhorov said, “The Kremlin removed me and my allies from Just Cause, and we were not allowed to do what we wanted. So for the last two and a half months we quietly created all of the infrastructure to collect two million signatures and get on the ballot.”
The elections commission have stopped opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin and United Russia consistently over the years from registering as candidates. The Washington Post reports the Communists and the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party will have Gennady Zyuganov and Vladimir Zhirinovsky on the ballot in the March 4 presidential election.
CBS News reports that Putin’s party did poorly in Russia's Dec. 4 parliamentary elections, winning only 50 percent of the balloting compared to 64 percent four years ago. There were allegations of voting fraud internationally and locally, and the elections were protested by middle-class Russians. The New York Times reports Putin’s party, United Russia, lost 77 seats.
Prokhorov’s wealth has been estimated at $18 billion. Along with the New Jersey Nets, he also owns shares in a major gold mining company and other enterprises in Russia. The NBA approved the sale of the Nets to Prokhorov in May 2010. He is the only NBA owner who is not from North America. Since Prokhorov acquired the Nets, he has helped to build NBA relationships in Russia and with Russians living in Brooklyn.