Petro Poroshenko won the Ukrainian Presidential Election held on 25 May 2014. He won the elections with about 54 percent of the vote in the first round.
Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Prime Minister and the archrival of Poroshenko, was only able to win about 13 percent of the vote. Two far-right nationalist candidates Oleg Tyagnibok of the Svoboda party and Dmitry Yarosh of the Right Sector party each received roughly 1 percent of the vote.
According to the Central Election Commission of Ukraine, around 60 percent of the Ukrainians voted in the Presidential election. This was less than 67 percent of vote polled in 2010 Presidential election when Crimea was part of Ukraine. However, in the two disturbed regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, the voter’s turnout was only 5 percent.
Poroshenko, 48, is a soft-spoken businessman who is often dubbed as Chocolate King of Ukraine. He runs a Company named Roshen which is one of the largest producers of chocolates and confectionaries in Europe. His estimated wealth, according to Forbes, is 1.3 billion dollars.
He has worked on both sides of the country’s political divide. He was Foreign Minister during the pro-Western presidency of Viktor Yushchenko and briefly as Economy Minister under Yanukovych. However, Poroshenko allied himself with protesters shortly after Yanukovych rejected a deal in November 2013 to move toward integration with the European Union.
Although Poroshenko has no political party of his own, he struck an alliance with Vitaly Klitschko, the boxing champion, who got elected as a mayor of Kiev. Both projected a central message: Ukraine has to return to peace and normality.
The voters’ preference for Poroshenko reflected the country’s exhaustion from turmoil and revolution.
Poroshenko faces the daunting task. On the one hand, he has to tackle the pro-Russian rebellion in the eastern Ukraine and on the other hand, he has to meet the demands of the European-leaning constituency that elected him. Besides, he will have to stamp out corruption and modernize the Ukraine's economy. The most important task at hand will be to navigate Ukraine’s turbulent relationship with Russia.
Who: Petro Poroshenko
When: 25 May 2014