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
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)
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(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.