Billionaire pulls out of Russian election

September 15, 2011 17:30


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MOSCOW - Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov said on Thursday he would boycott Russia's parliamentary election in December and accused the Kremlin's chief political strategist of sabotaging his political career.

In an abrupt end to a campaign that he had hoped would lead to him one day becoming prime minister or even president, the owner of the US New Jersey Nets basketball team said he was resigning from the tiny party which he took over in June.

Prokhorov's role in the Dec. 4 parliamentary election had never been likely to threaten the domination of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's ruling party and many political analysts said his political career had the consent of the Kremlin.

But resigning after a split in his Right Cause party, the whiz kid of Russian finance took the unusual step of accusing Kremlin First Deputy Chief of Staff Vladislav Surkov, one of Russia's most powerful men, of scuttling his plans.

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