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Ukraine's Klitschko pulls out of presidential race

Published on Mar 29, 2014 6:50 PM
 
Ukrainian boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko pulled out of the race for president on Saturday, March 29, 2014, throwing his weight instead behind billionaire confectionary oligarch Petro Poroshenko. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

KIEV (REUTERS) - Ukrainian boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko pulled out of the race for president on Saturday, throwing his weight instead behind billionaire confectionary oligarch Petro Poroshenko.

Klitschko's withdrawal, and an announcement by Poroshenko late on Friday that he would stand in the May 25 election, sets up a battle between the man known as the 'Chocolate King' and Ukraine's fiery 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 UDAR (Punch) party, saying he backed Poroshenko.