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Mikhail Prokhorov: 'This campaign could reveal some serious surprises'.


Mikhail Prokhorov: 'This campaign could reveal some serious surprises'.


In the current Russian presidential campaign – already unique with its unprecedented backdrop of civil activism – Mikhail Prokhorov definitely stands out. He’s the only candidate to run for the Kremlin for the first time, and the only independent, without party affiliation, a very successful businessman and billionaire. An obvious question, why dabble in politics?

Mikhail Prokhorov: ‘‘Everybody needs to develop. Those who stop, go into retirement. And when you understand that in business you have already achieved certain results and can’t help your country any more, you start to think of other ways of doing so. This was why I looked into politics. It’s right here that I can make our country better.’‘

Euronews: ‘‘So, the current campaign is just another experience for you? Some say that the outcome has already been decided…’‘

Mikhail Prokhorov: “On this point I categorically disagree with you. We live in a very dynamic world. Our society has woken up. Politics is on everybody’s mind. And the last two weeks of the campaign could reveal some serious surprises.’‘

Euronews: ‘‘Business and politics – aren’t you disturbed by the example of Khodorkovsky?’‘

Mikhail Prokhorov: ‘‘No, I’m not. The country has radically changed since then. People are no longer willing to sacrifice their personal liberty and security just for material wealth. People demand respect. And you can’t buy respect.’‘

Euronews: ‘‘In a few words, how does your programme differ from that of any other candidate?’‘

Mikhail Prokhorov: ‘‘The citizen must be a foundation of all State policies. And these policies shouldn’t serve the interests of the State, but the State should serve the citizen. Secondly – I believe we must create a single market with Europe. Russia without Europe – and vice versa – can’t compete in a new globalised world. It’s absolutely impossible. And finally, I strongly believe that only a true manager with extensive experience in running large systems can lead our country into the new competent field.’‘

Euronews: ‘‘If there are only two candidates who remain and you’re left out, who would you support?’‘

Mikhail Prokhorov: ‘‘I can’t even contemplate such a scenario. If it comes to a runoff, I will be the second candidate.’‘

Euronews: ‘‘OK, if you lose those elections, will you stay in politics? Would you take some government post if it were offered to you?’‘

Mikhail Prokhorov: ‘‘I wouldn’t accept any post at all in the current system because its’ a monopoly. Even Prime-Minister is a purely technical post as a proxy for the Kremlin. So I will create my own party.’‘

Euronews: ‘‘You’ll have 6 years to do that’‘

Mikhail Prokhorov: ‘‘Not necessarily. Firstly, there’s an election virtually every month, every year in the regions and we can take all of them. And, after all, I don’t think that the state of Duma will last that long in the current climate of political mistrust from our citizens.’‘

Euronews: ‘‘Will you build your party from scratch or use the existing political structure?’‘

Mikhail Prokhorov: ‘‘I will build my party from scratch together with those who share my values, with our citizens who want change, and in accordance with my programme, my platform which will be constantly expanded by new ideas submitted by citizens. Moreover, I want to build a party on a completely new basis – citizens will submit their ideas to leaders and heads of teams who will tackle those different issues. We have to use this grassroots activism – not a single party in Russia does that, and we want to build exactly that kind of party.’‘

Euronews: ‘‘Will this be a right wing -orientated party?’‘

Mikhail Prokhorov: ‘‘It will be an efficient party. There are challenges that our country is evidently facing, and they have to be dealt with in an efficient way. Those efficient ways are presented in my programme, and let the citizens decide whether they think it’s a right-wing, left-wing or centrist party. I always start with the task at hand. And our task is: how to make our citizens rich, successful, free and ready to link their destiny and destiny of their children to Russia.’‘

Euronews: ‘‘Thank you and good luck.’‘

Mikhail Prokhorov: ‘‘Thank you.’‘

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