Russian tycoon to head pro-Kremlin party

Updated: 2011-05-17 09:10


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Russian tycoon to head pro-Kremlin party
Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov watches Game 5 of the 2010 NBA Finals basketball series between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers in Boston, Massachusetts in this June 13, 2010 file photo. Prokhorov may lead a political party that has called for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to run for a second term, a Russian newspaper said on Monday. [Photo/Agencies]

MOSCOW - Russian tycoon and New Jersey Nets basketball team owner Mikhail Prokhorov says his decision to head a pro-Kremlin political party was an "uneasy" one.

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Prokhorov said Monday he would head the Just Cause party - what he later called in televised remarks "an uneasy and somewhat surprising decision."

Just Cause hopes to win legislature seats in December parliamentary elections.

The establishing of the party is widely seen by critics as an attempt by the Kremlin to lure opposition-minded, pro-business voters, while creating an illusion of competition with the ruling United Russia party ahead of elections.

Prokhorov, who made a fortune in metals and banking, bought a majority share in the New Jersey Nets basketball team last May.

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