He was the man of the moment during Ukraine’s Maidan demonstrations but now former champion boxer Vitaliy Klitschko is backing billionaire Petro Poroshenko as presidential candidate for the UDAR party.
In return, Klitschko gets Poroshenko’s support to stand as mayor of Kyiv.
“When the question is to save Ukraine independence and territorial integrity, we should unite together and not pay attention to personal ambitions. 72 percent of Ukrainians say that we need to unite, “ Klitschko said.
Poroshenko is known as Ukraine’s “chocolate king” and owns Eastern Europe’s largest network of confectionery plants. He supported the protests and was regularly seen at the Kiev barricades.
The move by Klitschko to drop out of the running could give Poroshenko a strong lead against former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
“If you see Vitaliy, if you see me, our coalition is rather strong and this is just for the long period of time, cause we are talking not about the may election, not about the presidential one, we are talking about the 10 years that are the program for the entering of Ukraine in the EU”, Poroshenko said.
Elections for both president and mayor of Kyiv take place on May 25th.