Three Years: Mikhail Prokhorov’s Hits

Mikhail Prokhorov

January-June 2012: Presidential Bid


When he’s not ruling over a multibillion entrepreneurial empire, working out two hours a day, partying with Russian models, presiding over the Nets, or shunning modern technology, Prokhorov is involved in politics.  In May of 2011, he was elected leader of the Russian Right Cause Party, only to be booted from the pro-Western/pro-free market party six months later for his incendiary claims that they were being manipulated by secret allies of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

In December of 2011, Prokhorov became the Russian version of Donald Trump, only a foot taller, with hair, and slightly less insane, when he announced he would run for the Russian presidency as an independent in the 2012 election. Unlike sports agent Jay-Z, Prokhorov would not have needed to step down if he had won the election. His main opponent in said campaign? Prime Minister Putin, the main he claimed was undermining the Right Cause Party.

Prokhorov sat down with Reuters Chrystia Freeland in January 2012 for an interview concerning his candidacy. Sounding like a politician, Prokhorov quoted Abraham Lincoln, talked Russian history, and struck conciliatory tones of bringing the right and left wings of the government together. He denied the rumors that his candidacy was just a ploy by his alleged secret ally Putin to split the opposition vote.  Prokhorov said flat-out he was better than Putin, though denied that Putin was corrupt, saying one would need evidence to prove that. Asked if he had suspicion that Putin was corrupt, the eternal feminist Prokhorov — who was being interviewed by a woman — said, “Suspicion, it’s maybe more for women. I’m a very practical man and I like to have evidence,” which elicited an appropriate and awkward “You’re an a-hole” smile from Freeland.

In parts 2 and 3 of the interview, Prokhorov goes on to talk his history of paying bribes in the 1990s, his views for electoral reforms, his playboy past, and ownership of the Nets. If he were to win the election, Prokhorov jokes that he would move the NBA to Russia were he to win. Fortunately for Nets fans, Prokhorov only received 8% of votes in the election, losing to the once and future Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. After losing the election, Prokhorov did the most Prokhorov thing he could do, creating the Civic Platform Party in June 2012.

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