Russian billionaire presidential candidate Mikhail Prokhorov, the owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team and the ONEXIM Group investment fund, promised on Saturday to sell his business if he wins March elections.
“If I become president, I will sell all of my assets to spend most of the money on charity,” Prokhorov said in an interview with the Dozhd TV channel.
In December, Prokhorov, 46, also promised to marry if he won the polls.
According to the latest survey by the state-run VTsIOM pollster, only 2 percent of Russians are ready to support Prokhorov in the March 4 elections. The polls, conducted on January 14-15 in more than 150 residential locations across Russia, involved 1,600 people.
In his Saturday interview, Prokhorov also confirmed his plans to set up a new political party if he lost the vote.
“If I gain more than 10 percent [of the vote], I will have the right to create a political party and head it,” Prokhorov said in an interview with the Dozhd TV channel.
If he gains less than 10 percent, he said, he would ask someone else – “for example, [ex-Russian Finance Minister Alexei] Kudrin” – to lead the party.
In June 2011, Prokhorov, was elected leader of the Right Cause pro-business political party, but quit the party a few weeks later, saying it was a Kremlin puppet.
On Friday, Prokhorov published his election program. His proposals include political reforms such as cutting the presidential term from six to four years, restoring direct elections for regional governors, restricting the presidential and gubernatorial time in office by two terms and reducing the party election threshold to three from seven percent.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who held the presidential post in 2000-2008, is widely expected to secure the presidency in the March 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.