Ukraine Elects a New President

Poroshenko claims 55.9% of vote, avoids runoff

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted May 25, 2014 12:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – The polls are closed in Ukraine, and national exit polls are indicating a clear first-round victory for chocolate magnate Petro Poroshenko, reports the BBC. Poroshenko claimed a decisive 55.9% of the vote, while Yulia Tymoshenko won a distant second-place slot with only 12.9%, reports the AP, amid heavy turnout. The margin was 2 percentage points, so Poroshenko clearly avoided a runoff; Ukraine watchers hope Poroshenko's strong showing will unite a fractious nation.

Ukrainian presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko, speaks to press at a polling station during the election in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, May 25, 2014.
Ukrainian presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko, speaks to press at a polling station during the election in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, May 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)
Ukrainian presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko speaks to supporters during a rally  in Uman, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 20, 2014.
Ukrainian presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko speaks to supporters during a rally in Uman, Ukraine, Tuesday, May 20, 2014.   (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Ukraine presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko casts her ballot as her husband Oleksandr and daughter Yevgenia assist her in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, Sunday, May 25, 2014.
Ukraine presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko casts her ballot as her husband Oleksandr and daughter Yevgenia assist her in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, Sunday, May 25, 2014.   (AP Photo/Olexander Prokopenko)
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