Prokhorov Goes After Putin Party; Accuses It of Vandalizing Billboards

Pravoe Delo

The Russian election campaign is heating up and as it does, Mikhail Prokhorov is starting to take direct aim at United Russia, the political coalition headed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and saying he'd make a fine prime minister.

The Nets owner held a press conference Thursday to accuse United Russia of being behind the dismantling and defacing of hundreds of billboards. Prokhorov has erected thousands to improve his and his party's name recognition. And analysts now believe Prokhorov is in it to win, starting with the December 4 parliamentary elections.

In his toughest attack yet, Prokhorov on Wednesday accused local authorities loyal to Putin's coalition of being behind the vandalism. "They’re afraid we’ll not let United Russia get its planned percent" of votes in the elections, he said, adding that his party would fight back in courts and media...a campaign already begun. 

On Thursday, he added, "I think I am capable of doing the tasks of the prime minister."  One political analyst said Putin's people are surprised at Prokhorov's independence and are starting to see his political party as a serious rival, not a "friendly sponsor."

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