Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has announced that he plans to set up a new political party that would consist of only 500 people, but would represent at least 6 million voters.
As Prokhorov announced the plans to found a new political party with the tentative name of “Civil Platform” at a press conference in Moscow, he assured reporters that this new organization will be “very peculiar”.
“There will be only 500 members in this party. These will be the representatives of the regional leaders who emerged in the Right Cause period and during the presidential campaign. These are the people who share the values I was running with when I got the support of 6 million people,” Prokhorov said, meaning the latest Russian presidential campaign in March in which the billionaire came third.
“We see municipal elections in cities with populations of over 500,000 as our primary task. Russia has 14 cities with more than 1 million residents and 23 cities where the population exceeds half a million. The most active people, the framework of Russia, live exactly there,” Prokhorov told reporters.
He also stressed that the new party was opposing any revolution and supported the evolutionary development of society.
The mogul stressed that he personally did not plan to take part in the street protests as there was no “positive agenda” in them. “I have taken part in protest three times, as I saw that they were urgent and helped us move in some direction,” Prokhorov said adding that “presently the protest movement cannot develop the necessary agenda.”
The tycoon also confirmed his intention to personally run for Moscow mayor’s post, even though only recently his press service refused to confirm the move.
“If in three years I have a chance not only to take part in the election but also to win it, then I do not rule out such a possibility,” Prokhorov said when reporters asked him about his mayoral ambitions.
Prokhorov announced that the sole objective of the new party will be “to hold the license so that the leaders of the civil society have an opportunity to participate in elections” and stressed that “the current political system is not something we would like to work in.”
The businessman added that professional lawyers would be delegated to the new party.
Prokhorov also said that the existing political parties in Russia have “depleted themselves” as they no longer perform their function as an intermediary between the community and the state.
Prokhorov already attempted to create a massive political party last year, through acquiring the small but established Right Cause. However, party veterans ousted Prokhorov at his very first elections convention over disagreements on attracting controversial personalities and his general authoritarian management style. The promise to create the new party was voiced back then, but the plan was postponed until after the presidential elections.
Representatives of existing opposition movements commented on Mikhail Prokhorov’s initiative with skepticism.
One of the leaders of the unregistered party Parnas, Boris Nemtsov, said that Prokhorov’s creation was not even a real party.
“The organization being created by Prokhorov is not a party, but a center for support of young talent. It looks more like a consultations center,” the Interfax news agency quoted Nemtsov as saying.
The head of the Yabloko party, Sergey Mitrokhin, said that before the billionaire decided to found some party he should donate 50 per cent of his wealth to the Russian people.
“He should give half of his fortune to the state or, better even, to the pension fund,” Mitrokhin noted.