Tycoon’s ads removed from city streets for “electioneering”

Billboards around Russia bearing the picture of Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov are being taken-down – just days after they were put up.

Prokhorov’s Right Cause party is surprised by the decision. The campaign was meant to raise the profile of its leader as a businessman among Russians, and the posters bear no party affiliation.

A week earlier, one of Russia’s richest men and the leader of the “Right Cause” political party, Mikhail Prokhorov, claimed he wanted more Russians to know his face. Billboards with his face and the slogans “Truth is Strength” and “Change is Inevitable” sprung up in several regions of the country.

In the Sverdlovsk Region, the firm that put up and is now removing the billboards says they constitute a form of political campaigning. This, it says, is forbidden currently as the election season is not yet underway.

The Right Cause party is taking part in the parliamentary elections in December. Sociologists say in its current state it will not win the seven per cent share of the vote needed to qualify for seats in the Duma.

Mikhail Prokhorov, one of Russia’s richest businessmen, only recently announced his intention to go into politics.

In mid-May Prokhorov said that he could become the head of Right Cause, which is a relatively young and small political party. On June 25 Prokhorov was appointed the single head of Right Cause as the two co-chairmen of the party resigned.

The tycoon immediately pledged to spend $100 million of his own funds for Right Cause’s election campaign and said that he would attract more money from other top businessmen.

President Dmitry Medvedev voiced his support for the newly-elected leader of the Right Cause party and said some of the tycoon’s ideas were very similar to his own. For example, they both want power to be decentralized.

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