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Billionaire Prokhorov Publishes Election Program

© RIA Novosti . Vladimir Fedorenko / Go to the mediabankMikhail Prokhorov
Mikhail Prokhorov - Sputnik International
Russian billionaire presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov published his election program on his website http://mdp2012.ru/program on Friday.

Russian billionaire presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov published his election program on his website http://mdp2012.ru/program on Friday.

Some of the proposals included were already made public on December 29, 2011 on his website.

If elected president, Prokhorov, 46, pledged to step down in four years and hold Russia’s next presidential election on June 12, 2016. He also proposed restricting the presidential and gubernatorial time in office by two terms.

Prokhorov submitted the two million signatures required to enter the presidential race to the Central Election Commission just hours before the deadline for independent candidates on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who held the presidential post in 2000-2008, is widely expected to secure the presidency in the March 4 presidential vote. However, he is facing a crisis of popularity and analysts say it is no longer certain he will triumph in the first round of voting.

Prokhorov also proposed reforming the political system, in particular returning the “against all” option, as well as tougher requirements for state officials and cutting their benefits.

The businessman-turned-politician said he would restore direct elections for regional governors, reduce the party election threshold to three percent, ensure fair elections and ban absentee ballots, as well as investigate the alleged irregularities during the December 4 parliamentary elections.

Putin's United Russia won the December 4 parliamentary elections, which critics and independent observers said were slanted in favor of the ruling party. Thousands went out to protest against the results, which they claimed had been rigged.

The authorities have pledged to investigate all violations but denied that alleged ballot stuffing could have significantly changed the vote results.

Prokhorov pledged to increase the role of competition in the country’s economy and fight the dominance of monopolies, as well as liberalize the Criminal Code regarding economic crimes.

His program also contains a call to start building new railroads, highways and airports, a reform of healthcare, education and social spheres.

The billionaire called for the scrapping of Russia's federal districts and the enlargement of its regions; land and army reforms, and European integration.

The other key presidential contenders are Communist Party head Gennady Zyuganov, A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov and Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the LDPR party.


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