Amwal Al Ghad English - 2014-05-26 05:56:47
Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire chocolate manufacturer, claimed the Ukrainian presidency with an emphatic election victory on Sunday, taking on a fraught mission to quell pro-Russian rebels and steer his fragile nation closer to the West.
A veteran survivor of Ukraine's feuding political class who threw his weight and money behind the revolt that brought down his Moscow-backed predecessor three months ago, the burly 48-year-old won 55-percent in exit polls on a first round ballot marred by millions unable to vote in troubled eastern regions.
Results will not be announced until Monday, but runner-up Yulia Tymoshenko, on 13 percent, made clear she would concede, sparing the country a tense three weeks until a runoff round.
Preliminary results with almost 25 percent of votes counted gave Poroshenko 54.1 percent and former premier Tymoshenko 13.1.
Poroshenko, known as the "Chocolate King", has no time to lose to make good on pledges to end "war" with separatists in the Russian-speaking east, negotiate a stable new relationship with Moscow and rescue an economy sapped by months of chaos and 23 years of post-Soviet mismanagement and chronic corruption. More»