Chocolate tycoon Petro Poroshenko is heading for a landslide victory in Ukraine’s snap presidential election on Sunday, according to early exit polls.
Preliminary results of two exit polls gave Mr. Poroshenko 55.9 per cent and 57. 3 per cent of the votes, well above the 50-per cent threshold he needs to win presidency in the first round of voting. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko estimated to have received less than 13 per cent, with the other 19 candidates trailing far behind.
Mr. Poroshenko is an old hand in Ukraine’s politics. The 48-year-old billionaire candy-maker was active in the 2004 Orange Revolution and later served as Foreign Minister and Economic Development Minister. He financed the three-month-long protests in Kiev against President Viktor Yanukovych, who was eventually toppled in February in a West-backed coup.
Mr. Poroshenko strongly support’s Ukraine’s closer ties with the West, but is against joining NATO. He has also promised to mend ties with Russia after the election.
“If I'm elected I will fix the crisis with Russia in three months,” he said on a campaign visit to the east.