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Ukraine’s Communist leader withdraws from presidential race

"Ukraine is losing its territories. Oligarchs are forming not only their bandit groups but also paramilitary structures", Petr Simonenko said

KIEV, May 16 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s Communist leader Petr Simonenko, who runs for the Ukrainian president at the snap presidential elections scheduled for May 25, said on Friday he was quitting from the race.

“There is a war in Ukraine,” he said at televised debates on the First National Television Channel. “Ukraine is losing its territories. The situation in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions is very difficult. Oligarchs are forming not only their bandit groups but also paramilitary structures.”  

“The fight against dissent, censorship lead to only one answer to the question about the elections: these elections will be illegitimate and we are confident of that,” he stressed. “That is why the Communist Party has decided to withdraw my candidature and we are doing this to save Ukraine from the havoc we are having now.”

In an appeal posted on the Communist Party’s website on Friday, Simonenko said the decision to withdraw his candidature from the presidential race had been taken by the presidium of the party’s central committee with the consent from leaders of all regionsl organizations.

“In conditions of the collapse of the law enforcement system, uncontrollable bandit actions of the Right Sector and their likes, our candidate, his agents and canvassers are literally deprived of a possibility to carry out the canvassing campaign not only in western regions of the country but also in regions of grass-roots support to our party,” the appeal said. “In such conditions it is impossible to hold normal elections, to ensure free expression of will of the voters and to guarantee equal conditions for all the candidates.