Billionaire Prokhorov May Run for Presidency in 2012, RIA Says

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team, may run for president in his country next March, RIA Novosti cited him as saying.

Prokhorov, who has taken over as head of the Pravoye Delo pro-business party in the run-up to Russia’s December parliamentary elections, said he might stand for president if his party wins the second-most votes in the legislative vote, RIA reported.

“If the party gets second place in the elections, we will put forward a candidate for the presidency and I don’t rule out my candidacy,” Prokhorov said according to the news service.

Prokhorov said on Aug. 3 that he has no plans to run for president next year and is focused on winning parliamentary seats for his party. Russia’s third richest man, with a fortune of $18 billion according to Forbes, Prokhorov has set a goal of Pravoye Delo winning 15 percent of the vote nationwide, more than double the 7 percent required to enter parliament.

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