Poll Billionaire wins Ukraine presidential vote

first_imgKIEV, Ukraine — Exit polls suggested candy tycoon Petro Poroshenko won Ukraine’s presidential election in the first round Sunday, a ballot that took place amid weeks of fighting in eastern regions where pro-Russia separatists have seized government buildings and battled government troops.The rebels had vowed to block the ballot in the east and less than 20 percent of the polling stations were open there. But nationwide, about 60 percent of the electorate turned out, the central elections commission said.Poroshenko, viewing the exit polls as definitive evidence of victory, said his first steps as president would be to visit the eastern industrial region of Donbass — home to Ukraine’s coal mines — and “put an end to war, chaos, crime and bring peace to the Ukrainian land.”Long lines of voters snaked around polling stations in Kiev, the pro-Western capital, but heavily armed pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine intimidated locals by smashing ballot boxes, shutting down polling centers and issuing threats.The exit poll for Sunday’s election, conducted by three respected Ukrainian survey agencies, found the 48-year-old candy tycoon Poroshenko getting 55.9 percent of the vote.Poroshenko ducked the question whether he was prepared to work with Russian President Vladimir Putin but said Kiev would like to negotiate a new security treaty with Moscow.last_img