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KIEV, May 25. /ITAR-TASS/. Petro Poroshenko, a business tycoon and member of Ukraine’s parliament, is winning the presidential elections in Ukraine with 55.9% of the vote, according to exit poll data.
His closest rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party, is scoring 12.9% of the vote. Third comes Oleh Lyashko (8%); Anatoly Grytsenko gained 6.3%; Serhiy Tihipko has 4.7%. Mykhailo Dobkin scored 2.1% of the votes. Petro Symonenko has 1.1%. Ultra-radicals Oleh Tyahnybok scored 1.3% and Dmytro Yarosh — 0.9% of votes.
The exit poll was conducted by three big sociological centers, the Ilk Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives foundation, the Kiev International Institute of Sociology, and the Alexander Razumkov Ukrainian Center for Economic and Political Research.
The businessman expressed the core of his election campaign in a brief and catchy slogan “To live in a new fashion!”. “Drastic changes are needed both by the country in the whole and by each single citizen in particular,” the election agenda says. “However, we will not be able to change Ukraine unless we change ourselves, our attitude towards our life and the life of an entire state.”
He pledged a “complete reload of the authorities”, in particular, parliamentary elections until the end of the current year, as well as decentralization of power at the local level. Meanwhile, in a recent interview with ICTV channel he stated about his intention to “work with prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk” in case of victory at the presidential elections, although he stressed the need to change “a substantial part of the cabinet team”.
In foreign policy, he prioritizes the “political and diplomatic battle” for returning Crimea, preserving the territorial integrity of Ukraine, for which, he believes, the head of state “should hear the voice of every region of our composite country”. In the defense sector, Poroshenko suggests to increase significantly the spending on upgrading the armed forces. He regards development of relations with the EU as an “additional guarantee of Ukraine’s security within the framework of the integral European security area”.
The presidential nominee names “an issue of special importance” the providing of energy independence of Ukraine and diversification of gas supplies amid simultaneous upgrading of enterprises and manufacturers in order to decrease energy consumption. He speaks about the language issue with common words, pledging to “conform to the Article 10 of the Constitution, which determines Ukrainian as an official language, but specifically underlines the rights of the Russian language and guarantees the free development of all languages”. However, referring to the need in “providing the unity of Ukrainian nation”, he states about the intention to preserve the current status quo in the language issue.
Petro Poroshenko was born September 26, 1965, in the Odessa region. He has graduated from the Kiev University with a degree in economics from the faculty of international relations and international law.
In the 1990s, he engaged in business and headed the Ukrprominvest consortium. In 2000, he set up and chaired the Solidarity party. After the victory of the ‘orange revolution’, in 2005 he was appointed Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, and in 2007 — head of Ukraine’s National Bank. In 2009-2010 he was minister of foreign affairs, in 2012 he became minister of trade and economic development. Since December 2012, Petro Poroshenko is Verkhovna Rada deputy and member of the committee on European integration. He owns the Roshen consortium, the largest confectionery manufacturer in Ukraine. He ranks 7th in the Forbes list of richest people in Ukraine.