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18 Jul, 2013 09:58

Billionaire politician wants military stripped of voting rights

Billionaire politician wants military stripped of voting rights

The head of the liberal pro-market party Civil Platform Mikhail Prokhorov said in a speech that all military servicemen should be deprived of voting rights in the presidential elections.

Speaking in the central Russian city of Ryazan, Prokhorov pointed out that the Russian President is the Commander-in-Chief of all Russian troops and this creates a “real conflict” as military servicemen will often have to choose between their supreme commander and some other person. He added that the conflict exists not only in Russia but in many other countries and added that his party Civil Platform were working on a reasonable mechanism that would help to solve it.

Prokhorov’s own military experience is two years conscription service in the Soviet Army in the early 80s.

Prokhorov also ran for the Russian presidency in 2012 and ranked third with about 8 percent of the vote, behind Vladimir Putin and the leader of Russian Communists, Gennadiy Zyuganov. 

Russian Federal Law on Elections states that all adult citizens have the right to vote in polls and referendums regardless of his sex, race, ethnicity, language, background, material or official status, place of residence, religion, beliefs, and membership in public organizations.

In his speech Ryazan Prokhorov also said he did not intend to support any of the candidates in the forthcoming Moscow mayoral elections as the poll was “a farce squared”.

The billionaire noted that the participation of the popular anti-corruption activist Aleksey Navalny was also part of the farce and chided the Russian creative class for the fast change of their allegiances.

“When I openly stated that I was not planning to run as I could not fix all papers in accordance with the new rules that had been altered in a hurry and especially in my case, they started suspecting that I had a secret agreement with the mayor’s office. But then, as the mayor’s office understood that the incumbent had no one to compete with, it became good for them to register Navalny and not only brought him up to candidate’s status, but also collected signatures for him. It is strange that no one has asked what was Navalny’s role in the play prepared by the city authorities,” Prokhorov wrote in his Livejournal blog.

The entry was posted before Aleksey Navalny was sentenced to 5 years in a penal colony for graft and Navalny’s elections HQ announced that they were withdrawing from the elections as their candidate cannot take part in televised debates (Moscow city rules insist on candidates’ personal participation and do not allow representatives).

Prokhorov earlier said that he was not going to run for mayor as a recently introduced law required that he got rid of his foreign securities and bank accounts and he would not like to conduct such major operation in a hurry. He added, however, that Civil Platform would launch a major offensive in the forthcoming election to the Moscow City legislature with the objective to get an overwhelming majority of seats.