Klitschko backs choc magnate after quitting presidential race

Ukrainian boxer-turned-politician Vitali Klitschko has pulled out of the race for president, backing chocolate magnate Petro Poroshenko. His exit makes May's poll an effective two-horse race between the billionaire oligarch and Yulia Tymoshenko.

Klitschko knockout leaves two-horse presidential race

Ukraine's presidential election has effectively become a two-horse race after boxer-turned-politician Vitali Klitschko pulled out and threw his weight behind chocolate magnate Petro Poroshenko.

The withdrawal leaves Mr Poroshenko and former Ukraine prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko as the main candidates in May's snap presidential elections.

Vitali Klitschko has publicly endorsed confectionery oligarch Petro Poroshenko at a party meeting in Kiev. Credit: Reuters/Viktor Gurniak
The former heavyweight world champion joined Mr Poroshenko at a UDAR (Punch) party meeting. Credit: Reuters/Viktor Gurniak
Mr Klitschko has withdrawn his candidacy in a bid to avoid splitting a vote in favour of Ms Tymochenko. Credit: Reuters/Andriy Skakodub

Public acclaim for Tymoshenko in presidential race bid

Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been embraced by her supporters after officially entering the race to be the country's next president.

Yulia Tymoshenko, who was released from jail last month after Viktor Yanukovich fled from power, addressed her supporters in Kiev. Credit: Reuters/Gleb Garanich
Ms Tymoshenko was embraced by her supporters at the party meeting in the city centre. Credit: Reuters/Gleb Garanich
Ms Tymoshenko was nominated as a presidential candidate at the Batkivshchyna party meeting for the election on May 25. Credit: Reuters/Gleb Garanich

Read: Vitali Klitschko withdraws from presidential race

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Vitali Klitschko withdraws from presidential race

Ukrainian boxer-turned-politician Vitali Klitschko has pulled out of the race for president and chosen to back billionaire confectionery oligarch Petro Poroshenko.

Vitali Klitschko announces he will not stand for Ukraine president.
Vitali Klitschko announces he will not stand for Ukraine president. Credit: APTN

Klitschko's withdrawal, and an announcement by Poroshenko yesterday evening that he would stand in the May 25 election, has drawn the battle lines between the man known as the "Chocolate King" and Ukraine's former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko.

"The only chance of winning is to nominate one candidate from the democratic forces," Klitschko told a meeting of his political party.