Poroshenko takes early lead in Ukraine's presidential vote
Updated: 2014-05-26 20:39
Ukrainian businessman, politician and presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko speaks during his news conference in Kiev, May 26, 2014.[Photo/Agencies]
KIEV - Preliminary official results put Petro Poroshenko clearly in front in Ukraine's presidential election, with 60 percent of the vote counted, authorities said on Monday.
Earlier Monday, the CEC said Poroshenko was clearly leading in the capital city Kiev and all 24 Ukrainian regions.
Poroshenko, 48, a wealthy businessman and independent politician, was the favorite ahead of the vote. He is a former minister of trade and head of the council that runs the national bank. Known as the "Chocolate King," he controls a large confectionery group called Roshen.
If elected, Poroshenko pledged to sell all his businesses and end the tension in eastern Ukraine, where protesters demand independence from Kiev and closer ties with Russia.
Poroshenko also pledged to initiate early parliamentary elections in the country before the end of this year, and vowed to intensify efforts to harmonize his country's relationship with Russia.
CEC Chairman Mikhail Ohendovsky said on Monday that the turnout in Sunday's presidential elections was over 60 percent.
The highest turnouts were registered in western Lvov, Ternopol and Ivano-Frankovsk regions, with 78.2 percent, 76.63 percent and 73.95 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, the lowest turnout was in the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions affected by unrest and in southern Odessa region, the CEC said.
In the southern Crimean peninsula, which Ukrainian government is considering as a "temporally occupied territory," there was no voting.
The early elections were called three months after former President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in February and fled to Russia.
No minimum turnout was set for this election in contrast to the 2010 presidential election, when voting by 66.76 percent of the electorate was required.