Russian billionaire on president ballot

2012-01-25 22:01

Moscow - Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has been registered as a presidential candidate and will be the only political newcomer in the race.

He joins Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and three veteran party leaders on the ballot for the March vote.

The Central Election Commission's decision on Wednesday to register Prokhorov came a day after it blocked the candidacy of an opposition leader.

Putin is seeking to return to the post he held from 2000 to 2008, and is all but certain to win.

Prokhorov's candidacy has been seen as an effort to channel discontent among Russia's urban middle class, the core of the anti-Putin protest movement.

Prokhorov insists he is acting independently, but he has refrained from criticising Putin directly and has said he would consider serving as his prime minister.

Read more on:    vladimir putin  |  russia  |  russia elections

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